Shango should come on in his second run back from a lengthy layoff when he runs in Race 7 at Turffontein on Saturday.
Shango’s next run came in the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July over 2200m at Greyville but was never in the race and finished unplaced.
He was gelded a short while later but was then out of racing for almost 10 months. The son of Captain Of Al returned in April and ran in a Progress Plate over 1600m at Turffontein. The drift in the betting was a clear indication Shango was in need of the run but even so, he did put up a promising performance, finishing up in fifth spot, just 3.75 lengths behind talented Puerto Manzano.
That run should have brought him on significantly and unless he goes flat in his second race after a layoff, Shango could be a hard horse to beat when he lines up in Race 7, a Progress Plate over 1800m on the Turffontein Standside track.
The gelding is the best-weighted runner and is at least 4kg better handicapped than his opposition. But the handicappers have not reduced his merit rating despite the lengthy layoff and that weight advantage might not be an accurate assessment of Shango’s advantage.
However, he is expected to improve enough to make up a deficit of 1.75 lengths over Pack Leader, who finished third in the race won by Puerto Manzano, especially over the extra 200m.
Log-leading jockey Lyle Hewitson takes the ride on Tarry’s charge.
A bigger threat could come from stable companion Flying Carpet, who has been running in the recent Classic races where he had to take on eventual Triple Crown champion Malmoos.
His best effort came in the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic when producing the fastest finish over the final 400m to run fourth, just 2.75 lengths behind the champion.
Luke Ferraris, who rode Malmoos in those races, is up on Flying Carpet.
Bingwa is another who raced in the three Triple Crown races and did his best when 2.50 lengths behind Malmoos in the WSB Gauteng Guineas. He did not perform as well in the other two, despite many pundits claiming he is looking for further.
Before his effort in the Grade 1 SA Derby, Dorrie Sham’s runner won a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m on this track so perhaps that is his best distance.
On a line through Malmoos, there could be little to choose between him and Flying Carpet.
Craig Zackey takes the ride.
Jack Milner’s selections
Race 1: 1 Rose Willow, 2 Sabrina Fairchild, 8 Crocodile File, 4 Frosted Ice
Race 2: 8 Team Gold, 7 Run As One, 4 Frontline Fighter, 1 Balouchi
Race 3: 5 Miss Magician, 7 Runaway Princess, 9 Stolen Kiss, 2 Green Taffety
Race 4: 11 Motown Magic, 12 Platinum Sky, 7 Global Ransom, 13 Slings And Arrows
Race 5: 1 Siren Of Greece, 7 Danceaboutthesun, 2 Fasinada, 3 Way To Dream
Race 6: 9 Apollo Eleven, 3 Barometer, 5 Jumeirah Gold, 4 Nussply
Race 7: 2 Shango, 4 Flying Carpet, 1 Pack Leader, 3 Bingwa
Race 8: 2 True Charm, 3 Winter Watch, 5 Greens, 1 Varina
Race 9: 6 Ushuaia, 1 Captain Chorus, 2 Zeal And Zest, 13 Rockpaperscissors
Race No 11 Motown Magic
Race 8 No 2 True Charm
Race 5 1×7
www.tabonline.co.za – Jack Milner