Jack Milner: Lady Val can provide some value to bettors at the Vaal on Tuesday when she runs in Race 5, a FM 83 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1700m.
When the betting went up Mike de Kock’s charge was priced up at 5-1 behind Artemisia, who is on offer at 18-10.
While Grant Maroun’s runner has won his last two starts quite impressively, he has been quite harshly treated by the handicapper and based on their run on 17 November over 1600m on the Inside track at Turffontein, Lady Val has got her stone cold at the weights.
Having her first run since June, Lady Val finished three lengths behind Artemisia and is now 4.5kg better off.
That should be more than enough to reverse the form especially as one can assume the De Kock runner will also improve on her last run.
Artemisia received a 4kg penalty for that run and another 2.5kg for winning her next start so she is back to a merit rating of 81.
When last at that level she was not winning so unless she has continued to make further improvement, we shouldn’t be rushing out to take 18-10, even with Piere Strydom up.
Randall Simons is back aboard Lady Val.
On the other side of the scale is Waity Katie, who at the beginning of the year won three in a row followed by a close second. That moved her rating up to 76 but it is now coming back and she is racing off a merit rating of 72.
Trainer David Nieuwenhuizen gave her a short break and last time she put up a much better run when a 2.75-length third behind Noceur.
With apprentice Dylan Lerena putting up an apprentice allowance of 2.5kg Waity Katie will carry just 52kg and that will make her competitive in this field.
The other leading contender is Tammany Hall who, despite carrying top weight of 60kg, has been racing against far better than she meets in this race – and has Gavin Lerena up.