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Picture: Outofthedarkness (JC Photos)


The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Outofthedarkness disappointed when stepped up to 1800m in the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic last season, but jockey Keagan de Melo was quick to point out it had little to do with his stamina capacity and more to do with him not acting in the testing going.

He struck as one with class from day one also as one who would likely blossom as a four-year-old.

On pedigree he should get the Gauteng Summer Cup 2000m trip, being by Gimmethegreenlight out of classy Fort Wood mare Negroamara, who finished second in both the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic and Grade 1 Woolavington 2000, among other stakes successes.

He duly caught the eye in his seasonal reappearance in a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1800m where he stayed on too late to finish a 1,25 length fourth.

It was only a five horse field, but he stayed all the way to the line and will come on from the run.

He is only merit rated 106, so has a bit to do to still get into the final field.

The minimum weight is also 54kg theses days and it will be even higher if topweight William Robertson is scratched after the publication of the weights.

Last year a horse who was officially under sufferance by 4kg, Flying Carpet, won the race, although the form of his Grade 1 SA Classic run made him a runner on paper.

Outofthedarkness and Decorated won’t be able to afford to be too far out at the weights so will need some luck as far as scratchings and the structure of the final field goes. 

That is where the risk lies in ante-post betting, but a few years ago this field cut up to the extent that there were only 19 acceptors and with the Cape Town incentives in place perhaps it will cut up significantly again.

If it does pan out favourably  Decorated will come into the picture too.

The Grade 3 Track And Ball Derby winner is only rated 102, but a look at the replays of the Track And Ball Derby and the MWOS Gold Cup backs up the opinion of trainer Frank Robinson that he will relish the Turffontein Standside track with its long straight.

Decorated reminds Robinson a lot of a Herman Brown Snr-trained yesteryear stalwart called Singing Boy (Foveros), whose numerous stakes successes were all achieved on the Highveld. 

Outofthedarkness is quoted by Hollywoodbets at 50/1 and by WSB at 55/1.

Decorated is quoted by Hollywoodbets at 75/1 and by WSB at 80/1.