Club Class Counts

Vaughan Marshall’s raiding coupling could add some spice and interest on sand debut today


The Vaal track manager may justifiably be feeling a little nervous as today dawns. The track switch ‘hoodoo’ horse Samogan is amongst the runners for that day’s R150 000 Listed Riverside Handicap.

The Australian-bred 4yo is a really decent exponent of sand racing – but defied the odds and won twice on turf recently after a last minute change of surface.

A competitive and open double feature billing heads the well subscribed Vaal Tuesday sand programme, where the classy speedster Trip Tease steps out in the first leg of the Pick 6.

Double Feature

The Riverside Handicap has attracted a field of thirteen – including the unknown quantity of Vaughan Marshall’s raiding coupling to add some spice and interest.

While our reference to Samogan as the ‘hoodoo’ horse is lighthearted tongue-in-cheek stuff, the reality is that Sean Tarry’s charge comes in with a galloping 52kgs at the bottom of the weights.


Sean Tarry

Sean Tarry could have an ace up his sleeve in Samogan

And the confusion added by his two smart turf ‘switch’ wins, may mean that he has had the scales tipped in his favour as he runs off an 85, and receives all of 10kgs from the rather hard-hit Kiss Me Hardy.

Samogan is also nicely drawn at 1, which will not do his prospects any harm.

Piere Strydom rides his capable stablemate Taptap Makhatini , who is drawn alongside in 2 but may need it after a 25 week break following his unplaced Emerald Cup effort.

Club Class

Our assessment ratings of the race point to the positive prospects of the classy and versatile Brooks-Club.

Trainer Mike Azzie is an astute judge of preparation on this surface and he will be feeling positive after the son of Strike Smartly ran a cracking 3,75 length fourth behind Bouclette Top in last Saturday’s Listed Drum Star Handicap.

The gelding ran on strongly late and enjoys the sand. He certainly looks very well in on 55kgs and Ian Sturgeon rides him again.

Spies Factor

Kiss Me Hardy wins at Turffontein 14 January 2014

Kiss Me Hardy has plenty of pudding to carry

Trainer Corne Spies is always a major factor on the sand and he has three in the race.

His major hopes rest with topweighted Kiss Me Hardy and All The Bids – both of whom won their last outings in the lesser testing Kimberley environment.

The handicapper has not been kind to Kiss Me Hardy. He has a welter burden of 62kgs to carry as a 3yo, but the son of Captain Al is very versatile and is no doubt being lined up for Emerald Cup aspirations a lifetime away in September.

He has won 2 of his last 3 starts in the Northern Cape but has decent form against the likes of Tiger Territory at the Vaal.

Big Bid

All The Bids is a hardknocking consistent 3yo, who has his sixth run this year and is very fit. He runs in Kimberley on Monday, so we should wait and see.

He may lack the class of some of the others and his multiple Flamingo Park wins may be clouding our judgement on that front.

He did beat the smart Vaal Tuesday winner Orchestrated at his last win over the mile here and could be better than rated.

Alec Laird’s progressive Trippi gelding Solar Triptych has won his last two on the sand and goes for the hat trick.

His 13 draw is a deterrent for supporters and a lot will depend on the nature of the kickback on the afternoon and whether Fransie Herholdt can get him into the firing line with a minimum of effort.


Chestnut's Rocket - PE poly winner has first sand run

Chestnut’s Rocket – PE poly winner has first sand run

The Vaughan Marshall Gauteng satellite base has produced two winners in eighteen races and they send out the coupling of Chestnut’s Rocket and Half Moon Hotel.

Both have their first run on the Vaal sand and the more likely appears to be the multiple stakes winning Chestnut’s Rocket who showed his versatility winning on the Fairview polytrack last year.

Outclassed in the Hawaii Stakes, he could provide the surprise package if MJ Byleveld can get him up front from his 9 draw.

Wide Ride

In a very open handicap, where a case could be argued for a spectrum of prospective winners, we are siding with the experience and fitness of Azzie’s Brooks-Club who is the selection to beat Samogan and Solar Triptych.

But go as wide as possible – and Trip Tease may be the exotic bet banker much earlier on.

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