With regular stable rider Sherman Brown winging his way to Mauritius, 21 year old Hennie Greyling gets his chance to throw his leg over Leon Erasmus’ grey Stage Call gelding Kavinsky at the first Vaal meeting of the new season on Monday. Greyling has won two races on the 5yo so he shouldn’t be under any undue pressure to deliver for punters.
The Supreme Sand Season is now well under way and interest will start building towards the climax of the R1 million Emerald Cup which is scheduled to be run on Saturday 27 September.
Monday’s eight race card is a rather low-key modestly patronised one, but without the regular helping of Kimberley, we will have to take our chances.
The Summerhill Stud-bred Stavinsky has won 8 of his 43 starts for owner Ivan Snyman and has proven to be something of a money-spinner considering his giveaway R70 000 Ready To Run price tag.
A winner of 8 of his 43 career starts, he is equally at home on sand and turf and half stands out as the proven fit campaigner in a fair field.
He gave Steelwing 5,5kgs and only went down 0,35 lengths when running on well at his last outing over the course and distance.
Sherman Brown rode him in his last 8 starts so obviously had gotten to know him well. But the enthusiastic Greyling is not far behind and he may prove a popular potential banker.
But there are the likes of Mike De Kock’s Capricorn Ridge, Shadow Line and the Azzie galloper Panjo to consider.
Randall Simons rides the Tiger Ridge 4yo Capricorn Ridge for Mike De Kock.
He has shown fair ability on the turf with 3 wins from 9 starts, and ran on Super Saturday on the Greyville poly when showing handily before fading to 9,30 lengths behind Night Trip in the Listed The Darley Arabian.
He now drops in class and tries the Vaal sand for the first time. He must have a reasonable chance if adapting and is a fit horse.
On The Line
Steve Kenny’s Toreador gelding Shadow Line blotted his copybook last time after two good wins.
He cast a shoe in running when finishing 11,25 lengths behind the revitalised Jet Jamboree in a conditions race last time, but won his penultimate start over the course and distance beating Be Mine Tonight by 10,25 lengths in a MR 87 Handicap.
That brings him right into the picture with a serious winning chance.
Topweight Nice Stride is a speedy son of Imperial Stride who enjoys a 1,5kg discount courtesy of apprentice Collen Storey.
Despite being thereabouts at his last two outings, he looks best over 1000m and is held by Stavinsky.
Johan Janse Van Vuuren-trained Newton Power returns to the sand after a turf win at his penultimate jump.
He showed up nicely over the course and distance last September behind the classy Killua Castle and while widely drawn at 10, will be a nice possible quartet kicker.
Dom Zaki’s Radio Waves had his first run on the sand last time when running on well for a smart third and two lengths behind The King And I.
The former KZN-based son of Spectrum carries a paperweight courtesy of Ryan Munger’s 2,5kg claim and is certainly worth considering from his good draw of 3.
Strike It Lucky
Piere Strydom does not ride too many Mike Azzie horses so his engagement to ride the 5yo Tiger Ridge gelding Panjo may be worth another look.
Strydom rode him last time when he finished in fourth and 6,75 lengths behind Steelwing over the course and distance. He was not striding out there.
He finished 6,40 lengths behind Stavinsky and meets the Erasmus runner on 3kgs better terms. Strydom has won on this fellow previously and doesn’t love the Vaal sand so much as to take rides for fun.
The 6yo Hinton Wells gelding Enchanted Guest won a cracker on the Vaal sand 1800m in March, but has not run up to that same ability since.
He was not striding out on the turf at his penultimate outing, but then ran poorly again when 20 lengths behind Nigel Mansell on the sand 1800m last time.
He has some rather jaded course and distance form and is a horse capable of producing better when in the right mood.
The Geoff Woodruff Var 5yo Sabadell ran an awful race on his first sand attempt last time out. That came after a year off the track, and there is no question that his fitness was lacking.
He was a highly-rated 3yo who achieved a career peak of 101, but appears to be way off his best at the moment.
The 6yo Spectrum gelding Captain Haddock is another racer who appears to have gone right off the boil recently. His recent turf form inspires little confidence.
He beat the high class Link Man in November last year but has failed to fire since.
Stavinsky is fit and consistent and will be a popular first choice.
If he leaves his finishing dash too late (as he has done in the past), then the focus shifts to Shadow Line, Panjo and Capricorn Ridge.
All three have the credentials to deliver a winning performance- Capricorn Ridge being the only genuine unknown quantity.