Thunder Cats Are Go Today

De Kock speedster gives weight to Azzie's Malta Rocks

Tiger Territory

Mike De Kock’s speedy Tiger Territory is in great form

An intriguing showdown between Mike De Kock’s versatile Trippi 4yo Tiger Territory and Mike Azzie’s lightly-raced 3yo upstart Malta Rocks in the R125 000 Lightning Stakes provides the likely highlight on the Vaal sand on today. Based on the quality of his recent opposition, Tiger Territory looks rock solid – even on topweight.

The nine race Vaal sand programme hosts two non black-type features in the R125 000 apiece Lightning Stakes and the Summer Speedsters for the girls.

Both races are run over the minimum trip and are very competitive.


Tiger Territory has won 3 of his last 5 starts on both surfaces and in some really decent company.

He won his last start with an element of class when skating clear on Thursday’s course and distance to beat stablemate Mootahadee by 4,25 lengths.

He dead-heated (albeit well weighted) in the Gr3 Lebelo Sprint at his penultimate start and is in prime form.

The Grey

Seventh Rock’s grey son Malta Rocks has won two of his three starts in emphatic fashion.

He gets all of 9,5kgs from our topweight Tiger Territory and JP van Der Merwe will have a plan to make De Kock’s gelding feel his weight.

Corne Spies’ Kiss Me Hardy enjoyed a runaway confident-boosting win in Kimberley last time out and has been very competitive at the Vaal. But he needs to find 3kgs on Malta Rocks.

He may also be more effective over an extra 200m and is not a natural speed sort.


Kiss Me Hardy’s stablemate Anger is battling to regain his high-flying status of mid-2014.

The son of Elusive Quality was beaten 10,25 lengths by Tiger Territory last time and even on 2,5kgs better terms looks unlikely to trouble the judge.

Stan Ferreira’s Salute The Sun was scratched ‘off feed’ last time but never runs a bad race on this surface and comes in with a handy galloping weight of 52,5kgs.

The negative here is Salute The Sun’s 17 week break.

Erasmus Duo

Leon Erasmus’ duo of Maji Moto and Benbow could have outside place chances off their 52kg marks.

Benbow was a surprise course and distance winner last time but has much more to do here.

He meets Eusebius, who he beat 0,75 lengths last time, at level weights again and should hold him again.

Wallace Tolmay’s Green Rock has been disappointing since getting the better of Excalivar in October and pulled up lame near-fore last time.

He has his problems.

The Girls

Flame Cat could give Azzie the double

Flame Cat could give Azzie the double

The Summer Speedsters Stakes has attracted a bigger field than the male equivalent.

Mike Azzie-trained Flame Cat gets a chance to redeem herself after fading out behind the cracking Gr1 winner Willow Magic at her last start.

Muzi Yeni rode her there and she was reported to have made a respiratory noise. Regular rider JP van Der Merwe returns on Thursday.

She won her two previous starts (including a great win over Tiger Territory) and her earlier Vaal sand form was very good.

She gets 2kgs from her hard-knocking elders Tiger Quest  and Shiver ‘N Shake


Lucky Houdalakis’ Ha Lucy comes in 2kgs better off with Flame Cat after being beaten 2,50 lengths over 1000m on the turf at their last clash.

Ha Lucy was a runaway course and distance winner at her fourth start when beating She’s A Tiger by 5 lengths in October and looks like a very progressive 3yo.

Horse Chestnut’s smart daughter Julie Doolittle has been knocking at the door and looks to be a winner without a penalty after Gavin Lerena dropped his rein late in the race last time.

She failed by a whisker behind Crystal’s Revenge in that race and drops 450m.

Plenty Of Toe

Louis Goosen - trains the quick She's A Tiger

Louis Goosen – trains the quick She’s A Tiger

Sarve showed good pace over 1200m on the Vaal turf last Thursday, when fading late and beaten by odds-on favourite Ntombe..

As a course and distance winner, she looks likely to be more comfortable  here and will be hanging in for place money.

Louis Goosen’s She’s A Tiger has run six seconds in recent times, but failed when not striding out at her last start.

A speedy daughter of Tiger Ridge, she looks much better than a one-time winner and could give them a fright.

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