Jack Milner: Handicaps for fillies and mares have a notorious reputation of producing upsets so it is usually a good move to look for some value in a race of that nature.
As a result, Boss Babe could just be the right runner to provide bettors with some value in Race 5 at the Vaal on Tuesday, a FM 86 Handicap over 1200m on the Vaal Classic track.
There are 11 runners carded to go to post and one could make a winning case for many of them but Candice Dawson’s charge looks ready to put a second win in to her record book for a number of reasons.
The first is that her merit rating has been steadily dropping and with a further two points coming off after her last start, this three-year-old daughter of Ideal World will be running off a rating of 76, her lowest since starting her career.
Boss Babe must have been showing some good work early in her career as she shed her maiden at second visit to the track after which Dawson was content to take her to Durban last winter to contest The Debutante, a Grade 3 race for two-year-old fillies. She could only manage a 10th-place finish, beaten just 5.90 lengths by Temple Grafin, but was drawn No 9 of the 13 horses.
Boss Babe was later taken to the Cape for the summer where she ran in the Grade 2 Sceptre Stakes but was well beaten. Back in this sort of company she should be competitive and it is worth noting she will be ridden by Raymond Danielson who has performed best on this filly. He has ridden her seven times for a win a second and a fourth.
This race is run around the turn and Boss Babe is nicely drawn at No 3. Perhaps it’s best to put a line through her last run as she it was run in yielding conditions which might not have suited her. She carries just 54kg, the lowest weight she has yet raced off.
Paul Peter has a fistful of runners and the best of these could be Operetta. With Warren Kennedy away on “maternity leave” – his wife has just had a baby – Lyle Hewitson has picked up the ride on this three-year-old daughter of Oratorio. She only received a 1kg penalty for her last win and will also carry 54kg.
Che Bella may have bitten off more than she could chew when contesting the Grade 2 Camellia Stakes last time but back in handicap company this daughter of Sail From Seattle should be more competitive although she is held by Boss Babe on their 4 April run. Muzi Yeni gets the ride.
Gavin Lerena is aboard Ouro once again and she comes off a solid win last time when she beat Afrostar by 1.75 lengths. She was penalised 3kg for that win, however.
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