The Vaal stages a competitive meeting today and this is illustrated by how tough most legs of the Pick 6 are.

In the first leg over 1400m, Wisteria Walk is the best weighted and runs over an ideal trip. In this small field down the straight she will be closer to the pace than she was when dropped out and running unplaced last time out in the Grade 2 Joburg Fillies and Mares Spring Challenge over 1450m.

She has not run since that event on October 3 so is unlikely to be at her peak, but her class could pull her through. Sidonie likely went a touch too fast early last time out over 1600m but she still stayed on for a fair fourth in a good field. She could appreciate the drop in trip and will be dangerous if able to dictate.

Querari Ferrari’s run on Saturday over this trip heralded a form return and she is second best in it the weights so will be a threat. Empress Josephine ran on well last time out over this course and distance and is right up with Querari Ferrari at the weights. Invisible was beaten 1,75 lengths when receiving 1kg from Wisteria Walk over 1450m last September but now has to face her at level weights. Those five make most appeal.

In the next race over 1100m, Persica has a shout if able to find a nice position with cover as she has a good turn of foot. The Fifth Wave’s chances were compromised by a low draw last time over 1160m and she has a shout here. May Queen disappointed last time over 1200m but on her best form there is nothing between her and Persica at the weights and she will enjoy this trip. Those three make most appeal but it is a wide open race and more can be included.

In the seventh race Eden Roc has a fine chance on the form of his Merchants runner-up finish last time. He would probably prefer 1200m but has never actually tried this trip before and is versatile and classy so should go close. Bold Ransom is a progressive sprinter who was beaten a head by Eden Roc in the Merchants and is now 1.5kg worse off so he looks held but is nevertheless the chief threat.

In the eighth Dubawi Princess has always had promise and was not disgraced last time from an unfavourable draw. Bella Black, who is much improved, was just behind her from an equally disadvantageous draw. Desert Pride is better than her last run and must also be included. Brooklyn Bridge is knocking hard and is 3kg better off with Desert Pride for a 2,75 length beating. Laetitia’s Angel drops down to the trip of her last win. 

The last race is a competitive fillies and mares handicap over 1200m. Olivia S has run well in both of her Gauteng starts since moving from Kimberley and now has her third run after an eight-month layoff. The well bed Frankel filly Lagertha is still a maiden but comes off two good 1000m runs against the boys and she should appreciate the step up in trip. Royal Lily has fallen to an attractive merit rating and although she has become disappointing the yard are in form and an up turn in her form here should see her go close. Hear The Trumpet is none to consistent but if reproducing her penultimate run over course and distance she can be involved. The Villa Grand is also an interesting runner stepped back up to this trip. Her previous two runs over this distance were against much stronger opposition. Samoa and Emerald Crest have to be considered too. – David Thiselton


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