MR90 Handicap at Vaal (sand) on Tuesday

Fearless Gun looking for his first win in over two years.

MR90 Handicap over 1450m at Vaal (sand) on Tuesday

The highest purse on offer in midweek is that put aside for the winner of the MR90 Handicap at the Vaal’s sand track on Thursday. Thirteen go to post and with all running off their true marks in the handicap plenty have chances, writes Steve Furnish.

Shouldering top weight is one of two runners from the Mike De Kock stable Boylan Blaze. This son of Parade Leader has won three of his six starts at this circuit, one of which was over today’s course and distance. He’s drawn well and with Denise Lee’s 4kg allowance, he would be a serious runner if at best. He was reported as lame on the near fore in his penultimate start though, and having been well beaten on his return to action last week one has to have concerns.

Internal Audit

Sparingly raced since making his debut back in Feb ’10, lightly raced stable companion Internal Audit has also clearly had his problems. Internal Audit has won two of his seven outings though, and it could well be that we haven’t seen the best of him yet. Either side of those two successes though, he’s been unable to finish better than eighth and yet to race on sand, question marks are aplenty.

Follow The Piper

Yet to race on sand, the filly Follow The Piper is a powerful front runner on her day and she has proven to be at her best around today’s distance on turf. She’s been below best since returning from a short break in June, but she does have a nice draw here and would have a shout if taking to the surface.

Bold Al

Gavin Van Zyl’s charge has come to hand nicely in recent starts and is clearly better than his current record of just one win from 14 starts would suggest. Those recent outings have all been over much further though, and having developed a tendency to be slow into stride, he could find himself with a mountain to climb in this his first try on sand.

Fearless Gun

The 7yo Fearless Gun was a runner up in the prestigious Gr2 Emerald Cup over today’s course and distance back in 2009. Amazingly though, he hasn’t found the winner’s enclosure since landing a MR75 Handicap on turf in May of that year. His better efforts have been few and far between in the last two seasons, but if he were to repeat his last run when finishing strongly to take third position in a similar event, he could win.

Are We There Yet

Another to make her sand debut here, the Dynasty mare Are We There Yet would certainly be involved if finding her best form. She’s without a win in 18 starts now, but she has in the main been racing against stronger, and she is at her best around today’s distance. A dark horse.


A winner of three from nine at this circuit, Stuart Pettigrew’s charge is in good form at the moment and he did bump a good sort when stepping up in class to contest a similar event in his penultimate start. He has a fair draw here and one of the few who look sure to give of their best here, he should be thereabouts.

White Tie

A bit of an enigma, White Tie has done well on the sand and he did gain his latest success on this surface over today’s trip. He could upset if reproducing his best form, but his latest efforts have been well below par.

Game Over

The most lightly raced runner in the field, Game Over couldn’t have been more impressive when winning his maiden by eight in March. His form since has looked nothing out of the ordinary, but then he has been racing in similar events on turf and his ratings have been pretty consistent. He could still improve if taking to the sand and on that alone he is not without a chance.

Ryan’s A Lion

– Is a scratching –


Stephen Moffat’s charge has won two from seven at this circuit and interestingly, today’s pilot Piere Strydom was in the saddle on both occasions. Strictly by the book he is held by both Ryan’s A Lion and Calanish on recent efforts. He does have a better draw than both of those two here though and that could make the difference.

Enza Plan

Usually one to run on stoutly from well off the pace, Enza Plan will not be too put out by his wide draw here. He does more often than not arrive on the scene too late though and with his three previous successes having been gained against much weaker, others are preferred.

Kruger Gold

As with Bold Al, the 5yo Kahal gelding Kruger Gold is much better than his current win ratio would suggest. He was finishing as well as anything when only beaten a half length last time out and although he is usually seen out in weaker company, he has performed with credit at this level on sand earlier in his career.

About The Pace

The pace is usually on over 1450m at this circuit and with a fair proportion of the thirteen usually found up with, or close to the speed, that should certainly be the case again here. Fearless Gun ran on well last time out and in what is clearly a very open contest he gets the vote.

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