There are two races of particular interest at the Vaal on Thursday, mainly because they both could give an indication of the runners’ wellbeing going into some bigger features.

The first comes up in Race 4, a Progress Plate over 2000m. This looks a match race between Sean Tarry-trained Cornish Pomodoro and Dr Doolittle from the Paul Peter yard.

Under the race conditions, Cornish Pomodoro is hard to oppose. He is 6kg better handicapped than his chief rival and Dr Doolittle, in turn, is 10kg better off with third-best weighted Fred and Watusi.

Cornish Pomodoro went down 0.75 lengths to shock winner Savannah Storm in the Listed Drum Star over 1800m last time and with Tarry and jockey Lyle Hewitson performing at the top of their games, he should notch up win No 3.

Dr Doolittle is a three-time winner and did run against the best three-year-olds in the SA Classic last time. Although he does have to give 3kg to Cornish Pomodoro he cannot be written off.  

Due Diligence has her first start since her excursion to Cape Town when she lines up in Race 6, a MR 100 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1400m up the straight.

She will probably need the run and one can assume she is being prepared for next month’s Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein.

However, with the race around three weeks away, trainer Mike de Kock’s charge should not be too far off her best and should still give a decent account of herself.

Callan Murray take the ride.

The biggest threat could come from Castle Durrow who let her supporters down last time with a disappointing effort. She went off a hot favourite over 1600m at this track but took no interest. However, she was still only beaten three-lengths by Ideal Angel.

Craig Zackey is back aboard the Lucky Houdalakis runner.

Jack Milner’s selections

Race 1:  9 Gold Storm, 1 Nussply, 8 Global Player, 10 Only Him

Race 2:  1 Gilboa, 7 Global Vision, 2 Fort Commander, 3 Watch Your Mouth

Race 3:  1 Magic Choice, 2 Meet The Captain, 10 Miss Costa Rica, 6 Rose Willow

Race 4:  2 Cornish Pomodoro, 1 Dr Doolittle, 3 Fred, 4 French Leave

Race 5:  6 Imperial Duke, 3 River Jordan, 1 Stormy Winter, 7 Countfonic Legacy

Race 6:  2 Due Diligence, 6 Castle Durrow, 1 Mill Queen, 8 All Of Me

Race 7:  3 Florentine, 6 Bebop, 4 Rock You, 8 Me Time

Race 8:  16 Soul Of Wit, Golden Spoon, Kapama, Un Deux Trois



Race 7 No 3 Florentine


Race 8 No 16 Soul Of Wit


Race 4 1×2 Milner