Ken Nicol: A couple of Australian imports announced themselves as horses to follow at the Vaal on Tuesday.
Mike and Adam Azzie-trained The Rocketman may have a way to go to emulate the similarly named Singaporean superstar, but scored his third win in five starts, narrowly defeating another progressive type Shenanigans in a MR 82 2000m race. Both should pay to follow and Adam Azzie indicated afterwards that the Australian-bred three-year-old gelding “could be a Derby horse, but we will take things slowly with him”.
Another Aussie to watch is Sirtain, the runaway winner of the opener. The four-year-old only made his debut three weeks ago, but, as assistant trainer Mathew de Kock explained, this wasn’t due to an injury. The reason was his blindness in one eye was only discovered late, which meant he wasn’t eligible to race in Australia. Horses with vision in only one eye are allowed to compete in South Africa, so he was sent to these shores.
De Kock junior said: “We put on the blinkers as that usually helps partially sighted horses, and brought him back to a sprint, as he has a speed pedigree. He reproduced his work here.”
It certainly did the trick as after two well beaten efforts he showed a ton of pace and came home an easy winner by more than four lengths.