Today the Vaal straight course hosts a leg of the Workrider’s Challenge and there look to be some good opportunities for punters.
In the first race over 1000m Sonny Quinn is knocking on the door and gets a good opportunity to get off the mark in an uninspiring field. He has finished in the first three in five of seven starts and the Dorrie Sham yard are in good form at present. However, he always seems to find one or two better so can’t be regarded as a strong choice.
Grappler has substance and might have benefited from a seven month layoff after a fair debut over 1160m in a strong maiden. Of the first-timers Cephas is by Querari and is a full brother to Psychedelic who won third time out over 1000m at Kenilworth. Scottish Flower is by Rebel King and is a half-brother to the speedy two-time winner South East and Chamu Mabaya is an eyecatching booking. Wisden is by Willow Magic out of a three-time winning Var mare who is a half-sister to the useful Copper Mountain.
In the second race over 1000m Ruby Woo stayed on nicely on debut over this trip in September and has scope for improvement. Furthermore, seven winners have come out of that race. Princess Sabrina has run some fair sprints and after failing over 1400m last time can be a contender over the minimum trip. Jam Fancy improved when just failing to lead from start to finish over this trip third time out and is a contender too. Rollawaytackler, who is by Captain Al out of a Trippi mare whose only win was a runaway one by over six lengths at Scottsville over 1000m, makes most appeal of the first-timers. Sudden Break by Sudden Storm is also interesting being by Sudden Storm out of a Brazilian mare who won three times from 1000m to 1600m.
The best of the day, Golden Spoon, runs in the third over 1200m. She caught the eye running on strongly on debut over 1000m and being by the current boom sire Vercingetorix out of the Listed Scarlet Lady winner Captain’s Daughter she should not only improve but she should relish the extra 200m. Aberdare is a full-sister to Grade 1 Golden Horseshoe (1400m) winner Forest Indigo but despite having a miler-to-middle distance looking pedigree, she might enjoy the step down in trip as she showed a good turn of foot from off the pace over 1400m last time before finding no extra. Sheltering Sky could earn and the two first-timers Lee Express (Vercingetorix) and Moobheera (Var) have eyecatching rider bookings, Sam Mosia and Joe Gwingwizha.
In the fourth over 1200m Differentiate packs a strong finish over this trip and doesn’t face inspiring opposition. Inherit The Rain should also be involved and the first-timer Flying Bull is interesting being by Soft Falling Rain out of a Judpot mare who won on debut in a workrider’s maiden over 1400m.
In the fifth over 1700m Ushuaia found himself in front last time and could only plug on for a 3,10 length fifth. However, that was only his second start and he does come out better than the rest on formlines. So with improvement and perhaps a more conservative ride he is the one to beat. Irish Rain and Major Winter are still capable of further improvement. Parallax can also be considered and Extravert must also be considering his good form in 2019 before being sidelined for a long time.
In the sixth race over 1700m the hard-knocking Lotus is the obvious choice and she has a good draw too. Senescence looks ideally distance suited so could bounce back. Princess Thiana plugged on over 1400m in a fair field on debut and being a full-sister to Legal Eagle she can improve and should also enjoy the step up in trip. Lyrical Dance has not caught the eye in two runs to date but was staying on over 1160m second time out and being by Vercingetorix and a half-sister to the like of Summer Cup winner Liege she can still improve. Bold Leah, who is out of a four time winning Right Approach mare, was plugging on over 1400m last time and could possibly appreciate the step up in trip being by Pomodoro.
Chenopod is the one to beat on form in the seventh over 2000m. The only danger looks to be Bend Not Break, who doesn’t come out as well as the former on formlines, but is capable of improvement especially if she settles better than she did last time.
In the last race over 2000m, Leading Lad over-raced with first-time blinkers on last time and now reverts to cheekpieces so can recapture his hard-knocking form. He should stay this trip. Masaaken strikes as one who is looking for this trip so will be a big threat if able to overcome a tricky draw. Track Commander looks capable of improvement and has a shout if staying this trip on pedigree. Ball Rolling is consistent and also has a chance. Captain Cupid beat Ball Rolling over this trip last month but will have to bounce back from two subsequent below par efforts.