Danie Toerien: Not enough form in wet to give bettors an accurate picture of what to expect at the Vaal on Tuesday.
Studying the ComputaForm ahead of Tuesday’s race meeting at the Vaal, it’s glaringly obvious that runners on the Highveld have very little experience running in wet conditions.
And with the weather what it is, it’s inconceivable that the going at the Vaal will be anything other than soft or heavy.
One filly who made her debut on soft going – winning by 2.50 lengths – is Victoria Paige.
This Sean Tarry-trained Captain Al filly kick-started her career with back-to-back victories last season as a juvenile.
She then stepped into the big-time, finishing 4.90 lengths behind Cockney Pride in the Grade 2 Golden Slipper on Vodacom Durban July day, before finishing 2.25 lengths behind Gabor in the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes.
She has her first outing as a three-year-old on Tuesday in Race 4, a Graduation Plate over 1400m, where she seems to be in a class of her own.
Tarry’s comment is also telling: “Even though run may be needed, her class should pull her through,” is his quote in the ComputaForm.
Despite only four runs – all as a juvenile – she has amassed more than a quarter of a million rands in stakes – proof that a lot is expected of this Chris van Niekerk-owned runner. Apprentice Luke Ferraris has ridden the filly in all of her races and he is back aboard.
She’s definitely the best bet on the card and could confidently be considered a banker in exotics.
In Race 5, a MR 96 Handicap for three-year-olds over 1400m, two Mike de Kock runners could be jostling for top honours.
Your Pace Or Mine shed his maiden tag over the course and distance in only his second run. That was in May. He has now been gelded and rested and looks ready to carry on where he left off last season.
Stable companion Vaseem scored a 1.75 length pillar-to-post victory in his season opener 19 days ago. It’s hardly conceivable that he won’t be in the frame.
Alec Laird-trained Prince Evlanoff should, however, not be completely disregarded.
He thoroughly impressed on debut when hunting down Corvette Captain to win by 0.50 lengths over 1160m. Interesting to note is that he made his debut in wet conditions, so he will know what to expect tomorrow.
In his second, and only other run, he finished a commendable fifth, 2.75 lengths behind John Hancock over 1600m. A drop to 1400m might just suit him to a tee.