MIKE DE KOCK
Jack Milner: The form of the Listed Ormond Ferraris Oaks Trial comes under the spotlight at the Vaal on Thursday.
That race was won with ease by Mike de Kock-trained Fayrooz, who put five lengths between herself and second-placed Smoking Hot. De Kock also had three other runners in the Oaks Trial – Pomander, Diorama and Alicante – and it is the former who comes under the spotlight in Race 6, a MR 84 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1800m.
While Diorama was the longest price of the three and went off at 33-1, De Kock felt she was not without a winning chance if things went her way. She ended up in fifth place, beaten 8.75 lengths by her stable companion but she was only a neck behind fourth-placed Ballet Shoes who has some decent form and would be fancied to win a race of this nature.
The concern about the form of the race is that 40 minutes earlier the heavens opened, and the rain came bucketing down. The Derby Trial was run in that rain and by the time the Oaks Trial was run the ground was very soft and the times very slow.
In that race De Kock’s filly jumped from widest draw in the 13-horse field but this time she is nicely positioned in gate No 4.
So Diorama could still improve on that form and might be able to notch up her third career win. She is likely to go off at a decent price so there should be some very good value for punters.
Brian Nyawo takes the ride, but it is worth noting he has ridden this filly in her last seven races and that includes the two victories.
Just one length behind Diorama in the Oaks Trial came Tahitian Orana, who found some support in that feature. Despite the No 10 draw, jockey S’manga Khumalo had her well positioned turning for home but she faded out late.
Her previous runs had not been beyond 1600m so she might have found the distance too far, especially in that heavy going.
The 200m drop in trip should suit her and this time Khumalo will have benefit of jumping out from No 1 draw.
One runner who is difficult to assess is Jetorio. She is beautifully bred and is by Oratorio out of Sun Met-winning mare River Jetez. She is a half-sister to River Jetez and Delta Queen, who is unbeaten in two starts.
This filly definitely has talent but is five years old and has only raced 11 times for two wins and three places, so one assumes she has her issues. However, should Sean Tarry’s charge produce her best form, she looks the runner to beat if the older runners falter.
She comes back from a 79-day break but does tend to run well when fresh. Apprentice Luke Ferraris takes the ride.