Mike Moon: Trainer Dorrie Sham has more than held her own since relocating from Port Elizabeth to the school of hard knocks on the Highveld. From her yard at the Vaal she has quickly built a reputation as a fine horsewoman with a record of consistency that pulls in new owners.
Sham could well burnish that record at tomorrow’s race meeting at her home racecourse as she saddles a clutch of horses with bright chances – Magic Vision in Race 3, Gimme The Fire in Race 5, Baahir in the seventh and Moon Warrior in Race 8.
The last-named appears to offer her best opportunity on the day, coming into this 1200m MR 66 Handicap in excellent form. Indeed, Moon Warrior has seldom run out of the money in his 19-race career and boasts a course and distance victory in March and a last-start win over just 100m shorter on this turf.
Chase Maujean was at the controls for that recent success and rides again. From a No 8 draw in a 16-runner field, the rider will be able to choose the prime galloping ground.
Another three-year-old gelding, Tsitsikamma Bush, provides the only credible threat in terms of form. This Ashley Fortune-trained son of Philanthropist is a reliable sort.
These two might be enough for budget-conscious Pick 6s and Jackpots, while the Swinger is a confident tip – even if it will not make anyone rich.
Sham might well be in the winner’s circle a little earlier in the day, with Baahir a decent shout in the preceding event, another 1200m MR 66 Handicap.
This Australian import has been a stable stalwart and was one of the horses who helped the intrepid trainer establish herself up north. Now a six-year-old with six wins to his credit, this son of Galileo has S’manga Khumalo for support and looks nailed-on to have a big say in the finish.
Stuart Pettigrew-trained Moshav is a clear and present danger and will probably start as the favourite with up-and-coming Diego de Gouveia aboard.
It is advisable to go wide in this leg of exotic permutation bets as several lurkers are waiting to pounce from the shadows. Mount Keith, In The Game, Neng Kapa Neng and Now And Forever are among them.
Magic Vision is a youngster being brought along nicely by Sham and could get his first win in Race 3, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1600m. However, Steak And Ale, a blue-blooded son of Rock Of Gibraltar from the Robbie Sage yard, could put that celebration on hold as he tackles a tad more ground in his third visit to the races.
Similarly, Gimme The Fire might have to wait a bit longer to break his maiden when he takes on Geoff Woodruff-trained Lemon Drop Shot. The latter, a three-year-old son of Master Of My Fate, has a progressive look about him and should provide Gavin Lerena with another click in his championship chase.
In terms of an exotics banker, Vistula looks the business in Race 6, an Assessment Plate for fillies and mares over 1600m.
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