Jack Milner: The introduction of Assessment Plates into the racing programme has been a boon for punters as they have thrown up some outstanding bankers on the day.
That could well be the case at Turffontein on Tuesday when racing is on the Inside track and there will be three Assessment Plates.
In two of them one can expect to see two odds-on favourites and they could well be considered bankers in all bets. However, in both races one danger stands out.
The first Assessment Plate comes in Race 4 where Sean Tarry-trained Yamoto has been priced up at 6-10 to win this race over 2600m. He is a promising stayer in the making and has already demonstrated his need for distance when romping home by 2.20 lengths last time over 2400m, beating Horseplay.
He comes out as the best-handicapped runner by at least 3.5kg based on merit ratings, a big advantage over this sort of distance. Gavin Lerena takes the ride on this four-year-old son of Dynasty.
However, a closer look at the form of Seattle Force indicates he could be a strong contender in this field, despite his lower merit rating. This son of Mambo In Seattle has been running in a lot stronger company and has taken on the likes of One World, Twist Of Fate and Atyaab, who he raced against in the Grade 1 Cape Derby.
He failed to feature prominently in any of those races but trainer Glen Kotzen clearly thought highly enough of him to put him into those races.
After the Cape Derby Seattle Force moved to Joburg and is now in the care of Stuart Pettigrew. The horse made a promising debut for his new stable last month when running a one-length fourth behind Gift For The Gap over 2000m in a race where the average merit rating was nine points higher than the race won by Yamoto.
There is certainly a question mark as to whether he will see out 2600m but we will all be a lot wiser after this race. Diego de Gouveia takes the ride.
In Race 5 Vistula has been opened at 9-10, in an Assessment Plate for fillies and mares over 1200m. Paul Peter’s charge has run five times for one win and three places, her only unplaced run coming in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas (Grade 2) over 1600m which was probably too far. Lerena rides this daughter of Ideal World.
However, Joe Soma saddles Comaneci who finished a 5.45-length fifth behind Cirillo in the R5-million CTS 1200. She returned to Joburg and was beaten just 0.20 lengths by Dancing Queen in her comeback run.
The only concern is No 9 draw which is not great over this course and distance but she does have Richard Fourie in the irons.
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