Ken Nicol: Thursday’s racing at the Vaal Classic track presents a card with quite a few open-looking contests, but Whitehaven in Race 6 over 1200m looks extremely well-weighted on his most recent effort.
This Var gelding showed a ton of pace in an Assessment Plate over 1400m here, and was only caught late by Grade 1-placed Alyaasaat, who was then far from disgraced when beaten less than four lengths in the KZN Guineas recently.
In addition third-placed Lake Kinneret has also franked the form by winning a very competitive MR 84 event a week ago.
With a handy 54kg Whitehaven is going to take some catching from the pole position draw and Warren Kennedy up. Expensive to follow Mythical Bolt and talented top weight Bold Coast look best of the rest.
Another who looks an attractive proposition is the juvenile Royal Siege.
Tyrone Zackey’s Jay Peg colt faces older rivals in Race 3, a Maiden Plate over 1500m. But he made good late progress over a sprint trip on debut, and should thrive over the extra distance.
In addition former champion jockey Gavin Lerena replaces the apprentice who partnered him on debut, and even putting up 1kg overweight, the pair should be heavily involved in the finish.
Lerena certainly won’t be lacking in confidence, after an impressive five-timer at Turffontein last Wednesday. African Rock and Captain Flynt look most capable of giving cheek, in what isn’t the weakest of maiden races.
For those unfortunate enough to need a get out horse, Brigtnumberten in Race 8 fits the bill. Roy Magner’s gelding is in top form, and now Lerena jumps aboard.
Gavin that is, as Dylan Lerena has been the jockey in his last two outings.
The top rider has a great record for this trainer, and was victorious the only previous time he rode Brigtnumberten. The combination ticks plenty of boxes and look certain to go very close.
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