Leading Lad had a promising first race for trainer Paul Peter and should improve further when he lines up in Race 7 at the Vaal on Thursday.
The lightly raced five-year-old joined the Peter yard in February but did not make a racecourse appearance until July. He contested a Mr 75 Handicap over 1600m on the Turffontein Standside track where he hit the front but was then run out of it by Eskimo Pie.
That run should have brought him on, and although taking a slight rise in class when he runs in this MR 80 Handicap over 1800m, Leading Lad should live up to his name and be the first to reach the finishing line.
Considering he won his maiden over 2000m, beating Masaaken by 6.25 lengths, the extra 200m should be right up his street.
The stable is in hot form following their four winners at Turffontein on Sunday and the word from the yard is that Leading Lad is putting up some good work at home.
“He’s a very nice horse and I think he has the ability to win a small feature,” said Peter on Wednesday.
Warren Kennedy takes the ride.
Two runners stand out as the main dangers – Twin Turbo and Royal Escapade.
Fabian Habib-trained Twin Turbo has been in top form after having been gelded. He has raced four times since, which have yielded two wins and a place. One is not sure whether the handicappers may have been a touch too harsh on him because he got a 3kg penalty for his penultimate win and then a further 1.5kg for finishing a 1.20-length second behind Super Handsome.
This race will probably give us more insight into the validity of that decision.
Denis Schwarz rode him in both of those races, and he is back to reprise his role.
Royal Escapade is a consistent runner from the Candice Dawson yard and has the ability to win a race of this nature. The son of Gimmethegreenlight put up a spirited performance last time when a 0.50-length second behind Oyster King in a MR 88 Handicap over 1600m.
This will be his first run beyond 1600m and as he was caught late over 200m less last time, only the race will tell if he will see it out.
Raymond Danielson takes the ride for the first time.
Jack Milner’s selections
Race 1: 10 Wings Of Nike, 3 Maraca Ginger, 2 Magic Number, 4 Frontline Fighter
Race 2: 1 Pin Up, 5 Lady Calavera, 6 Evening Rise, 4 Ideal Angel
Race 3: 2 Blonde Act, 1 Flinders Range, 9 Tullamore Dew, 8 Triple Decker
Race 4: 1 Red Hot, 2 Gilda Gray, 3 Country Flame, 6 Indigo Winter
Race 5: 1 Manterio, 2 Understated, 4 Jackson’s Duel, 5 Intercity
Race 6: 4 The Bomb Dotcom, 1 Fast Draw, 3 Kissed By Fire, 2 Lyntys Legacy
Race 7: 7 Leading Lad, 6 Twin Turbo, 3 Royal Escapade, 1 Romeo’s Magic
Race 8: 1 Blue Eyes, 4 Space Race, 3 Feather The Nest, 12 Samoa
Race 3 No 2 Blonde Act
Race 6 No 4 The Bomb Dotcom
Race 7 6×7
tabonline.co.za – Jack Milner