Jack Milner: Big Blue Marble did not have the best of experiences at Scottsville last time but can turn it around when he contests Race 6 at the Vaal tomorrow.
Two runs back Paul Peter’s charge scored a very impressive win in an Assessment Plate when easily beating Crown Guardian over 1200m on the Classic track at the Vaal.
This MR 88 Handicap is over the same course and distance and with Warren Kennedy returning to take the ride, this four-year-old son of Var looks set to win again.
His last run is best ignored. One is not sure why Big Blue Marble was not a happy chappie at Scottsville but he jumped in coming out of the stalls and then pulled up distressed. He finished 10.30 lengths behind winner Ultra Magnus. That run is best ignored.
Culture Trip looks to be a useful son of Pomodoro having run four times for two wins. He won over 1200m on debut, after lying last at the 400m mark, and was then put over further by trainer Sean Tarry.
He then raced in two events, over 1700m and the next over 1600m, finishing fourth in both but some way off the winner. In his penultimate start Culture Trip was in the vanguard in the race won his stable companion, unbeaten Al Mutawakel.
Although beaten 4.75, that was a decent performance as the winner looks to be way above average.
Then last time, dropped to 1450m on the Inside track at Turffontein, he once again flew up to get the better of Gimmethenight on the line. Fourth-placed Lake Kinneret came out to win from that form line.
The only concern is how Culture Trip will handle the drop to 1200m. The fact the race is around the turn could work in his favour. Kabelo Matsunyane takes 1.5kg off his back.
Certifiable was beaten by Sugoi over this course and distance last time but is now 2.5kg better off for a one-length defeat and should be able to reverse the form. Jockey Robert Khathi said he felt something amiss with St John Gray’s runner last time when running over the straight 1400m at the Vaal but the vet could detect nothing so perhaps that run is best ignored. Muzi Yeni takes the ride and they jump from barrier No 1.
Another runner to consider is Captain’s Alpha who won two successive races when fitted with blinkers before fading out to finish a seven-length eighth behind Purple Diamond in his last start.
That was his first start after a short break and he should improve in this race.