Arabian Air gets the vote

Arabian Air gets the vote


Ken Nicol: An eight-race card on Turffontein’s Inside track has replaced the cancelled Durbanville meeting on Wednesday, Election Day, and the main event is Race 6, a MR 84 over 1450m.

The undoubted class act is top weight Arabian Air, who makes his Highveld debut.

Always highly regarded, Joey Ramsden’s three-year-old has gone close in his last two runs, and was hampered by the winner before going down !.5 lengths to top class Vardy last time out.

That one went on to give One World a mighty fright in the Grade 3 Winter Guineas, so Arabian Air looks undervalued with a current merit rating of 94.

With a manageable 60.5kg once useful apprentice Kabelo Matsunyane’s 2.5kg claim comes off, he should be too good for this more limited bunch, despite being drawn eight of the 10 acceptors.

Main danger could be the obvious improver in the race – Mike de Kock’s Apache Too. He won fluently second time out, and while it was a humble work riders’ affair, he must have a shout with a mere 52.5kg to shoulder and the inside draw, which is always important at this track.

Beyond that things look wide open, with a number of battle-hardened handicappers lining up.

The best bet on the card though is Lucky Houdalakis’ Tehuano in Race 3. This Dynasty filly looks overdue to crack her maiden victory, and now faces a moderate bunch with Gavin Lerena up, from pole position.

She looks difficult to oppose, and a double with Arabian Air could pay rich dividends.

A value bet which appeals is Molleloa in Race 4, a modest MR 64 affair over 1800m.

While limited, this Querari gelding had been in reasonable form, before putting in one of his familiar no shows last time.

Champion jockey Lyle Hewitson now jumps aboard, and from a decent draw he deserves another chance in a wide open affair.

Race 5, a MR74 Handicap over 1200m, sees St John Gray-trained Certifiable and Golden Lion from the Gokhan Terzi yard both looking to clinch a hat-trick of victories. This sprint could produce the battle of the day, with Gavin Lerena aboard Certifiable and Piere Strydom riding Golden Lion.

Interesting to note is that Lerena steered Golden Lion on his last two outings.

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