The month end and bumper fields will add up to healthy exotic bet pools for next Thursday’s Vaal Sand double feature. Trainer Leon Erasmus and his stable jockey Sherman Brown will be hoping to repeat their fun and games at the same venue three weeks ago, although there is a progressive runner from the Tarry yard that could stop them dead in their tracks.
he ‘bit of alright’ Tarry horse is the handsome Skitt Skizzle, an exciting lightly raced 5yo, who could be anything if he takes his place in the Autumn Sand Sprint after a good win on Thursday just past.
But the Brown and Erasmus combination are ready to take on the challenge after they made hay at the Vaal on the first Thursday meeting of this month. Erasmus saddled a hat trick, which incorporated the pair scoring a feature double with Tiger Territory in the Lightning Stakes and Club Captain in the Summer Speedsters Stakes. Both winners line up again in Thursday afternoon’s double feature and it will be quite a feat if they could pull off the non black type feature double again.
Tiger Territory produced electrifying speed to win the Lightning Stakes but is now asked to go an extra 200m. The 3yo son of Trippi had his stablemate Nice Stride running on well for second under a welterweight of 62kgs and 3,75 lengths away. Nice Stride now meets Tiger Territory on 3,5kgs better terms and the son of Imperial Stride may find the extra 200m to his liking. But Tiger Territory may have other mountains to climb, as we have already intimated.
He bumps an exciting son of Jet Master called Skitt Skizzle. who cruised in on the Vaal turf last Thursday after a 24 week break from action following an epistaxis suffered when running a good fourth behind the boom Master Of My Fate over a mile at Clairwood in September last year. Skitt Skizzle showed his wellbeing when winning a high quality 1200m handicap beating his stable-mate Mythical Palace going away, admittedly in receipt of 7kgs.
The entire has won 3 of his eight career starts and has looked something rather special since his double digit margin debut win. He has already been touted as a possible stallion prospect. Skitt Skizzle has his first run on the sand here and is a longstriding powerful horse who will no doubt have been tested by the proliferation of talent on this surface in the Tarry yard in his work. The betting may well be the best guide, but he should be good enough to beat this lot if he takes to the sand.
His stablemate Across The Ice and the very talented Weiho Marwing runner Here Comes Billy are both worthy of consideration. The topweighted Across The Ice has his old mate Piere Strydom back aboard and he showed some spark last time when staying on well behind The Mouseketeer on the surface. That run was a fortnight ago and he comes in here fit and as a multiple course and distance winner must be considered.
Here Comes Billy has been given a well deserved seven week rest since his unplaced run behind Jade Bay in the Gr3 Lebelo Sprint at Turffontein. He is a course and distance winner who will prefer the extra 200m and running fresh. Corne Spies’ smart Sail From Seattle 3yo Tommy Gun has won 3 of his 7 grass starts and is another who tries the sand for the first time.
The Milkwood Stud bred gelding showed good pace to win well under a big weight at the Vaal on 18 February, and he looks a very progressive sort who is capable of making the seasoned campaigners run a bit.
The fillies and mares run in the Woodlands Sprint where Club Captain takes on eight rivals. The daughter of Captain Al confounded the handicapper when winning the Summer Speedsters going away and had subsequent Gr3 Tommy Hotspur winner Miss October well beaten. That is probably just an academic reference as the daughter of Var didn’t appear to enjoy the sand.
Club Captain will not have an easy task on Thursday. She meets the second and third placed runners from the Summer Speedsters again on worse weight terms. She has to give Shiver ‘N Shake (1,75 lengths) and She’s A Tiger (2,25 lengths) a further 2,5kgs here and over the extra 200m, that could make all the difference.
Louis Goosen’s smart Stronghold filly Negev scored a long overdue third win when Piere Strydom rode a clever race from the front at the Vaal last Thursday. If she is over the exertions of that effort, she could run into the places here. Strydom rides the Tarry topweight She’s A Stunner who stumbled at her penultimate sand start when third behind Shiver ‘N Shake. She was run off her feet in the Gr3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap last time out, but is worthy of inclusion in a field of this quality.
On a card of competitive and large fields, fractional betting may be the key to a nice dividend on the day. Skitt Skizzle looks a possible banker bet and if the money comes for him, we would suggest he is the right horse. Tiger Territory is very fast, while Here Comes Billy and Tommy Gun could challenge.