Bumper fields are the order of the afternoon at Arlington this Friday where the R90 000 Walmer Handicap (non black-type) heads the eight race programme. Eight fillies and mares contest this little feature and Justin Snaith’s Rain Gal will be looking to atone for her disappointing last effort.
The Australian-bred Rain Gal is beautifully bred and was once referred to by her owner as ‘our own Igugu.’ She either stays or she doesn’t and we will find that out on Friday.
Rain Gal ran a dismal fifth 2,90 lengths off Light The Moon at the course over a mile in an MR 86 Handicap at her last start and it suggests some contradiction in reasoning that her connections are aiming her at 1800m here for the first time. The move is probably more frustration at the knowledge that she has the ability but needs to find her niche.
Hassen Adams’ daughter of Galileo won her previous outing over 1400m beating Figure Eight Knot by 3,75 lengths, and two of her three previous wins were struck over 1200m. In her last outing she wasn’t stopping as Felix Coetzee kept at her down the inside rail and she frankly appeared a touch flat-footed in the final 250m. That may mean that this 1800m trip will be right up her alley.
Snaith also despatches Psaltery and Estelle.
Team Valor International’s Psaltery has won 3 of her 11 outings but is battling to find her form with a blank earning slate in 2012. She has her first run in the Eastern Cape after a solitary try in Cape Town following her KZN career, and she will need to improve to win. A place cheque appears within her scope.
Estelle is another nicely bred Drakenstein Stud campaigner who is just battling to assert herself.
She actually has a victory over Gr3 Champagne Stakes winner Northern Heritage to her credit earlier on, but has lost the plot in recent times. She managed a win at Fairview over a mile in a rather weak MR 66 Handicap at her last campaign in the Eastern Cape but her ensuing four runs have not been inspiring.
Gavin Smith’s Fly Emirates looks Rain Gal’s biggest danger and is a reformed performer since relocating from the Western Cape.
The daughter of Jet Master has won three and been placed at all of the balance of her seven starts up here after a moderate spell as a one-time winner with Mike Bass in Cape Town.
Fly Emirates won her penultimate by 10,25 lengths and then ran a gaining third when2,50 lengths behind newly crowned champion Eastern Cape 3yo filly Alvilda in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes last time. Rain Gal will have to pick up her feet to beat this one.
Smith also sends out Bella Aroma, who meets Rain Gal on the same weight terms as their last outing where she held the Snaith mare to 0,55 lengths, but finished 4,60 lengths behind when receiving 3kgs at their penultimate meeting. The daughter of Fan Club’s Mister is fit and always on the fringes and warrants consideration if running to her better form.
Dance To The Stars is utilised as a pacemaker these days and tends to fade late. She is well held by Fly Emirates for a comprehensive beating in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes last time. She was a fair performer in her previous home province of KZN and could surprise if ridden with more restraint.
Crimson Glow finished over 16 lengths back in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes at her last outing. That was over 2000m and she was tailed off at her penultimate start over 2400m. She came up at 25-1 at her start prior to that in an MR 91 Handicap over 2000m at Fairview. The daughter of Western Winter appears to have her problems and she cannot be considered with any degree of confidence.
Silvan Wind has not found the winner’s enclosure since December 2010,and would be a shock winner on her current form.
A small field , with Fly Emirates looking a likely winner. Rain Gal may enjoy the 1800m and she has shown touches of fair ability and class in the past. If she stays, she could go close. Bella Aroma and Dance To The Stars may fight over minor money.
The rest look hard pressed and more suited to a switch to matters maternal in the paddocks at this point in their careers.