Jack Milner: A horse who took a 13-month break from racing could find his way back into the winner’s enclosure at the Vaal on Thursday.
Lord Silverio was coming along the right way, notching up three wins in five starts.
His penultimate start was in August last year, when he went off 6-10 favourite but was beaten 0.35 lengths by Secret Captain.
Sean Tarry’s charge returned to racing last month in a MR 96 Handicap over 1160m, which was far too short for this son of Silvano.
He performed well enough under the circumstances, losing ground at the start and finishing just 5.25 lengths behind winner Double ‘O’ Eight.
This time he contests a Pinnacle Stakes over 1800m on the Classic track and hopefully the Lord Silverio of old turns up again. He could very well need another run but it could be significant that Tarry has chosen to put this grey son of Silvano back to a race over this sort of distance.
He is not the best handicapped runner in this field but is lightly raced and could be a lot better than his merit rating of 95 suggests. In any case, most progeny of Silvano get better with age and Lord Silverio could fall into that category.
Tarry is in hot form and hardly a meeting goes by without he and jockey Raymond Danielson having a winner. They also have the benefit of jumping from barrier No 1.
St John Gray has seen Lake Kinneret in the winner’s box in his last two starts and this five-year-old son of Kahal is in excellent form. He received a 2.5kg penalty for his last win but it is worth noting that both of those wins were on this track.
The one concern is that he will be trying 1800m for the first time but the manner in which he runs gives one the impression that the extra 200m should be well within his scope. Muzi Yeni takes the ride.
Interestingly, two fillies are the handicapped runners and they are Insignis and Bize. The latter, trained by Alec Laird, has beaten the colts and looks to be a useful competitor. She has not raced since contesting the Grade 2 Greyville 2200 on Durban July day when she was unlucky not to have got closer than 1.75 lengths to winner Shenanigans.
Having not raced for 89 days she could need the run but has experienced S’manga Khumalo up and carries just 54.5kg.
Insignis comes off campaigning in five consecutive Graded races but she carries 58.5kg and will have to give weight to all but Puget Sound.
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