Dominic Zaki’s exciting sprinter Jade Bay makes his seasonal debut at the Vaal on Tuesday. The talented 4yo son of Jallad won the Listed Umngeni Handicap at Greyville in impressive style on Super Saturday and looks the class horse in a small field.
With varying opinions doing the rounds amongst the punting fraternity after a week of dramatic Pick 6 dividends, this particular event opens the Place Accumulator and presents its own unique challenges.
A half brother to the brilliant Jackson, Jade Bay returns from a break of just under seven weeks, when winning that cracker of a race under Richard Fourie, to bring the curtain down on Super Saturday. It was a memorable afternoon for his sire Jallad, who showed his terrific versatility by producing the winner of the Gold Cup on the same day.
And his half brother also won the Champions Cup, for good measure! Ormond Ferraris’ super quick Sharp Design had gone very fast that evening and looked a winner, until Fourie produced Jade Bay with a sustained effort to nab him late.
The handicap terms of the race, means that there is not much to choose between the opposition, but on pure class and upward potential, Jade Bay looks the right one. He will be ridden by the masterful Andrew Fortune, who is also likely to get the best out of him, for his passionate group of owners.
A 1000m specialist, Jade Bay meets Power Jet on a half kilo worse terms, than when going down narrowly to him on 21 May over the track and trip. At his previous run he beat De Var Hyt by 2,75 lengths, but now has a 6.5kg turnaround at the weights to overcome with Louis Goosen’s rather enigmatic, but very talented son of Var.
De Var Hyt will be piloted by Piere Strydom and is another course and distance specialist in the line up. He probably found the Vaal 1200m too far at his last start, when fading out behind Magic’s Magic. He meets Goldstream on 2kgs better terms than that when beaten a 1 length third behind the Binda runner in July over the course and distance. Leon Erasmus saddles two very smart 4yo’s for staunch owner, Ivan Snyman.
Power Jet looks the stable elect and the consistent son of Jet Master will be ridden by Sherman ‘Bouncing’ Brown. A four time winner, who has won three of his last six starts, Power Jet simply loves the track and has a victory over Jade Bay (as mentioned earlier), to his credit. He meets Goldstream on a kilo better after being beaten 1,75 lengths by the Binda galloper last time out. Of some concern to supporters of this fast gelding is that he has registered respiratory noise issues at his last four outings, and that will take the edge off the urge to banker him in the PA.
Up And Down
His stablemate Mogok’s Desire has enjoyed something of a chequered career, after winning his debut over the course and distance in dazzling style by six lengths. He has won a further two races since and strikes us as a fellow who can turn it on, given the right conditions on the day.
Mogok’s Desire has had excuses at his last few starts, with respiratory noises, being squeezed in running and a bout of lameness, hindering his opportunities to produce his best. On a line through Sharp Design, Mogok’s Desire could get very close to Jade Bay at his best, and may prove something of a value wager in a closely matched small field contest.
Clinton Binda saddles the Goldkeep gelding Goldstream, who has run his last two races at Scottsville. Julius Mariba takes some weight off the 6yo’s back and he comes in with a galloping load and a chance of challenging the top three. Goldstream displayed plenty of toe at both his Scottsville starts and last time ran a fair 1,85 length fourth behind Paul Lafferty’s smart filly Garibondy in an MR 90 Handicap.
Mariba knows him well enough and will have him flashing the speed from the jump. Paul Peter’s Gold Site is a another talented son of Goldkeeper, who has won 7 of his 40 starts. He appears to have gone flat in his recent starts and appears held by the likes of Jade Bay and Power Jet. He may also have soundness issues, and appears pressured to make an impact here.
All factors considered, there won’t be a lot in it in the drive to the line here. There is naturally a surplus of speed and with various issues hindering certain of the runners, the chances of an upset is not beyond the realms of possibility. We are siding with the class of the talented Jade Bay, who is selected to beat the two Erasmus runners. De Var Hyt could punctuate that selection, if on song.