Bonginkosi Nkosi: There is absolutely no better jockey to follow on the Highveld circuit more than Gavin Lerena at the moment.
Numbers don’t lie, he has built an impressively high 25.27% win-strike rate this season, thanks to the 140 winners he has ridden.
Lerena should creep a lot closer to Anton Marcus’ 29.83% win strike rate on Sunday, especially when he reunites with the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Regal Graduation in the Listed Syringa Handicap over 1600m on the Turffontein Inside track.
This four-year-old daughter of Oratorio is the model of consistency and has won three of her last six performances.
The step up to 1600m shouldn’t raise too many red flags, simply because she barely broke a sweat over 1450m in January, defeating Gimme Hope Johanna a lot easier than the 1.80-length margin suggests.
Regal Graduation was far from disgraced in her most recent attempt when going up against the boys and holding her own to finish a close-up 2.75 lengths behind Soldier On. And it did not help that she shouldered more weight than the four runners who finished in front of her!
She jumps from an advantageous No 5 draw and considering she will be facing her own sex this time, a loss is highly unlikely.
The jockey-trainer combination of S’manga Khumalo and Joey Ramsden are firing on all cylinders at the moment and pose the main danger with Carioca.
This daughter of Var has improved drastically since relocating to the Highveld, winning two of her last three efforts. You can put a line through her penultimate seventh-place finish, she clearly found 1160m far too short.
She shoulders 3kg less than the selection and if she reproduces her most recent triumph will give Lerena’s mount a torrid time passing the finish line. For the Quartet, float Carioca and Regal Graduation with as many runners as your budget allows.
Following a game second, Blonde Vision looks a worthy Pick 6 banker, even though Dennis Schwarz replaces the indisposed Randall Simons in Race 3, an Assessment Plate over 1200m.
Although her main danger Afrostar tops the best-weighted column, she returns from a 74-day stint off the racetrack and is widely drawn at No 7 so isn’t a confident selection.
If you are in pursuit of a BiPot banker, look no further than Ashbaal in Race 1. He has finished third in both career starts to but should improve many lengths now that he knows what racing is all about.
For the TAB All-To-Come bet, consider placing a Win on Ashbaal in Race 1, a Place on Glacier Girl in Race 2 and Wins on Blonde Vision in Race 3 and Regal Graduation in Race 4.
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za