Jack Milner: Clever Guy was narrowly beaten in his last start by Palace Chapel but Stephen Moffatt’s runner can avenge that loss when they line up again at the Vaal on Thursday in Race 5, a MR 94 Handicap over 1200m.
The pair met over the same course and distance three weeks ago and Clever Guy looked to have the race wrapped up but was caught late and went down 0.70 lengths to the well-backed favourite.
This time Moffatt’s charge will be 1.5kg better off and that should give jockey Sherman Brown, who rode the five-year-old son of Argonaut last time, the edge on this occasion.
Interestingly the third-placed runner, Torre Del Oro from the Sean Tarry yard, is also in the line-up. This five-year-old son of Trippi was beaten 1.95 lengths and is now 2.5kg better off and that should give him a good chance of finishing ahead of Palace Chapel.
However, he is just 1kg better off with Clever Guy for a 1.25-length beating and that might not be enough to turn the tables on Moffatt’s runner.
There are two other runners to consider – Danza and Angel’s Power. Danza has been running over further and last time found a revitalised Wonderwall far too good in a MR 93 Handicap over 1400m at the Vaal.
His six runs prior to that resulted in two wins and four second places and one of those includes a victory over Grade 2 Senor Santa Stakes winner Mardi Gras over this course and distance, although it was in soft going.
Angel’s Power is from the in-form Mike and Adam Azzie stable and the six-year-old gelding finished a 3.35-length fourth behind Valbonne over 1000m at Turffontein last time. He flew in the closing stages, making up ground hand over fist after a slow start. He is clearly a better horse over 1200m and although he has only won once over the distance, he has placed a further nine times in 11 starts.
Muzi Yeni takes the ride.
Raasmaal has loads of ability but he has not raced since 23 January last year and will probably need the run.
Whatever his fate, Mike de Kock should have a winner in Race 3 where he sends out Alyaasaat in an Assessment Plate over 1400m. This Australian-bred son of Dawn Approach has run some very good races, including a second place behind Soqrat in the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes over 1600m.
After his distant fourth behind National Park in the Grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes, the decision was taken to geld him. He did not comeback all that well but in his defence, he contested the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas, the Grade 1 SA Classic and the Grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes so he was hardly running against weak opposition.
However, he is well weighted in this race and is at least 5.5kg better off with the opposition. Considering he finished just 5.50 lengths behind Soqrat at level weights in the Horse Chestnut Stakes last time, Alyaasaat should be far too good for this field.
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