A high-class handicap with a collection of horses with Graded race form tops Tuesday’s Vaal meeting on the Classic track.
All of Al Muthana, Sound Of Summer, Indlamu, Tierra Del Fuego and Donald Macdonald will line up for Race 6, a MR 104 Handicap over 1500m.
Sound Of Summer is an improving four-year-old who has run 10 times for five wins and five places, and like so many of Silvano’s progeny, he is improving as he matures. He will love this distance and looks the runner to beat.
However, it is not going to be all that easy.
One horse who is well weighted to turn the table on Sound Of Summer is Indlamu. Sean Tarry’s runner finished 0.90 lengths back in second when they last met and is now 2kg better off.
The only concern is that he ran a shocker in the Grand Heritage (Non-Black Type) over 1475m up the straight course and will need to prove that run all wrong if he is to shape in this event.
Tarry also saddles Tierra Del Fuego who ran a superb race last time when a fast-finishing 0.20 lengths behind star filly War Of Athena over 1600m at Turffontein. His merit rating has dropped a few points and he is starting to become more competitive again.
And of course, Al Muthana comes off a fourth place in the Grade 2 OnamissionMile. He also ran in the Grade 1 WSB Summer Cup but found the 2000m too far and will enjoy both the drop in class and the drop in distance.
In-form S’manga Khumalo has the ride and he has ridden the Australian-bred four-year-old to a win over this course and distance in October.
Donald Macdonald seems to grow an extra leg when the ground is soft. This Gavin van Zyl-trained runner has raced four times in the wet for two wins a second and a third, so even though 1500m is in the short side for him, he will come into the reckoning if there is the usual afternoon downpour, something that tends to happen quite frequently these days.
In his penultimate run, his first race on the Highveld, he contested a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m where he beat Sound Of Summer by 1.10 lengths. That race was run in yielding going, which suited him.
However, he will now be 2.5kg worse off with Paul Peter’s charge and could find it tough to confirm that form, particularly if the rain holds off.
Jack Milner’s selections
Race 1: 10 Lady Osier, 11 Sundrop, 9 Just Be Nice, 2 Quick Run
Race 2: 1 Dronfield, 10 War Banner, 5 Trust The Fire, 2 Fulliautomatix
Race 3: 14 Mychancetodream, 2 Pianta, 12 Label Queen, 13 Letha
Race 4: 1 Blonde Act, 11 Arabian Sky, 4 Pewter Sky
Race 5: 11 Mckenna Skye, 6 Dancing Arabian, 4 Mamaquera, 1 Lee Express
Race 6: 4 Sound Of Summer, 6 Indlamu, 2 Al Muthana, 1 Tierra Del Fuego
Race 7: 4 Marengo, 1 Captain Oupie, 2 Godswood, 5 Singfonico
Race 8: 8 Vegas Hi Rise, 9 Frontline Fighter, 1 Irfaans Boy, 4 Jet Cat
Race 2 No 1 Dronfield
Race 8 No 8 Vegas Hi Rise
Race 2 1×10