Jack Milner: An interesting MR 85 Handicap over 2600m tops the bill at Turffontein on Thursday and there could be some excellent value in going for Brett Webber-trained Earth Sky.
This five-year-old son of Black Minnaloushe is not always the most consistent of runners unless he is competing on the Inside track at Turffontein. He has raced four times at the course for three wins.
Even his lone unplaced start at the course was not bad. He finished fifth, beaten just three lengths by Mighty And Magic.
He has not raced at this course since winning a similar kind of race over 3000m in January and his last run, over 2400m on the Standside track, was encouraging as he finished fourth behind Fact, although he was beaten 9.25 lengths. Now, back at his favourite track, he meets Weiho Marwing’s charge on 4kg better terms.
Webber has engaged Ryan Munger to ride the gelding and the jockey has a decent record on Earth Sky. In three rides, he has one victory, a fourth and a fifth place under his belt.
Fact will be having his first run on the Inside track but he must have a chance if he handles the course. He has Marco van Rensburg, who has ridden the four-year-old gelding in many of his races, back in the irons.
An interesting runner is Snorting Bull, who looks to be a decent stayer in the making but he comes in with top weight of 60kg. Scott Kenny’s charge will be having his first start at the course so his ability to perform at the track is another cause for concern.
He moved up last time and looked as if he would sweep past the leaders but became one-paced in the latter stages and ended up in third place, beaten just 0.20 lengths by Indy Ice.
Unfortunately, he has a habit of losing ground at the start and that seems to be coming back to bite him. This time Kenny has engaged in-form Raymond Danielson to take the ride.
Before Noon has won three of his last four starts, and in his last two, just got his nose down at the line. Sean Tarry’s charge has been running well in KwaZulu-Natal but he could find the opposition on the Highveld a little stronger.
He did start his career in Joburg and shed his maiden at the Vaal but he finished unplaced in two races at this course. His last win was over 2400m and it will be interesting to see how this son of Await The Dawn performs over 200m further.
He does get a 1.5kg apprentice allowance with Kabelo Matsunyane in the irons and that brings his weight down to 57.5kg.