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The Vaal straight course hosts an eight race meeting and there look to be some fair opportunities for both on-the-nose and exotic players.
 
The meeting starts with a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1000m and the Shaylen Naidoo-trained Quick Run should be cherry ripe to deliver as this will be her third run after being scratched from one of her engagements. She faces an uninspiring field and has a fine chance to end a sequence of nine top three finishes. She does seem to always find one better though. Special Variety was green on debut but looked the part and should improve. She could get a nice tow from the handy-running Quick Run, being drawn next to her, and if the penny has dropped she might make a bold bid to overtake her. Love Bite has run a few good races ,although she has not been reliable lately, and she can earn again.
 
In the second over 1200m the Mike de Kock-trained Magic Dancer returns from a seven month layoff but can get away with it over this trip. He ran a fluent second on debut behind the talented Mufasa but disappointed next time out when third and returning blowing. He must have had an issue as he hasn’t been seen out since that run on July 29 last year. The obvious second choice is Black Burner who ran well in his penultimate start but was a touch disappointing last time when reported making a respiratory noise. He easily beat Bevoeterd when they last met but the latter has improved since. Al Borani returns from a seven month layoff and could be a factor. He is by Silvano out of the champion sprinter Alboran Sea, so could improve on his two runs as a juvenile.  Here Is The Tiger was only to one-and-a-half lengths behind Bevoeterd on debut last time over 1000m and should improve.
 
In the third race over 1200m Cleaver Green drew away to win easily on debut although did it in workmanlike style. The son of Rafeef is not tall but has substance and can improve. Rollwiththepunches mixed it with the best early in his career without ever being disgraced over a sprint trip and having come down from a 93 merit rating to an 85 this speedy sort has his easiest task for sometime and has high-flying Gavin Lerena up. Written In Stone has pace and a kick and does not need cover, but he is seldom ridden to suit the latter characteristic. He is capable of winning this race. Vegas Hi Rise is capable of a strong finish and should be coming to hand. Eyes On Tiger finished strongly in his penultimate over 1000m and might appreciate the step up in trip. Goliath Heron, Corvette Captain and Jet Cat are hard to ignore.
 
In the fourth race over 2000m Cheringoma, who has won both of her starts since stepped up to 1600m, should relish the step up in trip on pedigree being by Flower Alley out of the useful stayer Gorongosa and furthermore she is the best weighted runner according to official merit ratings under the Middle Stakes conditions. Earl steps up to a trip which should be more suitable and being by Duke Of Marmalade should be coming into his own. However, Lerena will have to overcome a tricky draw. Run As One failed in a tough field last time but did win over this trip before that and although he is 2kg under sufferance with the filly Cheringoma he can be a threat from another good draw. 
 
In the fifth race over 1400m Halloween has not had much luck in her three runs on the Highveld, with eirther luck in running or a draw effecting her chances, but she can get it right here down the straight over a suitable trip from a high draw, which is often the right side to be. What A Honey has shown signs of ability and if forgiven her last run has good form. She is by What A Winter out of a Silvano maiden and should get the trip. Definitely Maybe is by Silvano but her dam Maybe Yes, who won the Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas, did not stay beyond a mile so she has possibilities here as a likely improving sort who disappointed in her last two starts when stepped up to 1800m. 
 
In the sixth over 1400m  Prairie Falcon returned from a layoff to run two good thirds in Graduations Plates. She should be cherry ripe and faces an easier task under these handicap conditions. Golden Spoon and Kayla’s Champ are hard-knocking distance suited runners and could be a threat. Fromheretoeternity had a tough task in the Grand Heritage and had good form before that so can be considered. Midnight Gem won easily over 1200m last time and looks to be on the up so is interesting stepped up in trip.
 
In the seventh over 1400m Sound Of Hounds has caught the eye in both of his starts and can remain unbeaten as he looks to have some class. It is a Classified Stakes event which favours females but he is only 2kg under sufferance with the best weighted runner and is on the up.
 
The last race is a Classified event over 1400m and Speechmaker is taken to score a hattrick at the expense of Elusive Swann, who might well enjoy the step down in trip, while the scopey Ancestral Prayer could have benefited from her layoff. Dark Travel, Rodger The Dodger and Letsdoit could also be in the shake up. 
 
Picture: Marco van Rensburg rides the promising St. John Gray-trained Sound Of Hounds in the seventh race and the Bezrin colt could be a banker. (Candiese Lenferna Photography).