UP THE VAAL
Jack Milner: There look to be two standout bets on Tuesday’s Vaal card and as both line up in the Pick 6 races, it gives bettors an opportunity to catch a nice slice of that exotic bet.
First of the two comes up in Race 4, the second leg of the Pick 6, where Candice Dawson saddles Miss Tycoon in a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 2400m.
This three-year-old daughter of Elusive Fort showed great improvement when fitted with blinkers last time in a Maiden Plate over 2600m on the Turffontein Inside track.
She led going through the 400m mark and was only caught close home by Merengue who went on to win by 1.75 lengths.
The main opposition looks to come from Shezahotti and Laconia. In the case of Laconia, she had every chance last time and faded to finish third behind Miss Tycoon, 1.25 lengths back and there looks no reason why she should turn the tables this time.
The same applies to Shezahotti who finished fourth in the same race, a further neck behind Laconia and there seems no reason why she should reverse the form either.
There are no changes to the jockeys with Warren Kennedy on Miss Tycoon, Devin Habib aboard Shezahotti and Muzi Yeni back on Laconia.
The rest of the field looks rather moderate and will have to make oodles of improvement to win this event.
The other good bet comes up in Race 8, the final event on the card, where Barend Botes sends out What A Joker in a MR 63 Handicap over 1400m up the Vaal straight.
This four-year-old son of What A Winter made his debut for the Botes yard last time over this course and distance and came into this race on the heels of some exceptionally moderate runs.
Nevertheless, there was some robust support for the gelding and he shortened from around 25-1 into 8-1 before drifting a little to go off at 10-1.
Lyle Hewitson had the ride and he kept his mount well off the pace although when one looked at him, he was clearly just cruising along and under no pressure. For a moment it appeared as if he would not get a clear run, but when Hewitson asked for an effort, What A Joker responded immediately and in a matter of strides, had the race wrapped up.
He beat Pretty Jolly by two lengths with Hewitson easing him up before the line and it is worth noting that a winner has come from that formline.
Fifth-placed Prince Jordan won his next start while fourth-placed Dread The Dragon ran a great second behind Purple Diamond in a MR 74 Handicap in his next run.
What A Joker was penalised just 2kg for that win and still looks way ahead of the handicapper.