Skip to main content
Picture: Dyce (Candiese Lenferna)
With 28 runners facing the starter, the WSB Grand Heritage at the Vaal on Saturday is the proverbial cavalry charge and sets punters a real puzzle.

Happily, there is no law against supporting two horses in a race and the advice is to back both Dyce and Irish Tractor.


In the Grand National in the UK which has a similar number of runners, bookmakers often bet six places and it will be interesting to see if the sponsors — and the tote — make it attractive to back their fancies each way.

It was in December 2010 that Lucky Houdalakis had the greatest day of his career to date with JJ The Jet Plane winning the Hong Kong Sprint under one of Piere Strydom’s best rides. The celebrations went on long into the night.

The prize on Saturday is so much less but R312,500 is not to be sneezed at and — in Dyce — Houdalakis has a horse with ability and few miles on the clock.

David Shawe is a guy who knows the ropes of racing and — after an injury setback — his instruction will have been not to run the son of William Longsword until his trainer was fully happy with his recovery.

The long wait paid off when S’manga Khumalo partnered the colt to an emphatic victory at Turffontein 17 days ago. The mystery is why the same jockey hasn’t retained the ride — instead he is on Gavin Smith’s badly drawn raider, Safari Blue.

Muzi Yeni now rides Dyce and he will be pleased his mount has a reasonably high draw which has been an advantage in recent sprint races at the Free State track. The one worry is whether the colt will stay 1,475m, but he is out of a dam by Galileo.

Irish Tractor is this column’s second punt and Grant Knowles — nominee of the Diesel Syndicate — must be delighted with how the Vercingetorix gelding has fared during his time on the highveld.


The five-year-old ran well from a shocking draw in the Charity Mile and — as Kabelo Matsuinyane knows him well — must be fancied to take a hand in the finish.

The sponsors have Prophet as favourite at 5-1 and he has been competing in top races such as Graham Beck Stakes and Dingaans. However, he is the only three-year-old in the field and also has a low draw.

This race invariably produces a big quartet dividend and three runners worth considering in perms are Indlamu, Whafeef and Team Gold. The first-named, who races in the colours of bookmaker Lance Michael, hinted a sixth win was close at hand when second behind Forever Mine last time out.

Rachel Venniker has ridden two seconds on the son of Pomodoro and is sure to fancy her chances of taking a hand in the finish.

The final selection is Dyce to beat Irish Tractor, Indlamu and Whafeef.

The supporting feature — the WSB Sophomore 1000 — gives visiting Cape jockey, Grant van Niekerk a chance of victory on Janse van Vuuren’s talented three-year-old, Karangetang. Last season’s Protea and Storm Bird Stakes winner probably needed his recent race when finishing third behind Constable.

However, Karangetang may not find it easy conceding 2kg to Roy Magner’s runner, Taikonaut. The colt has been costly to follow in his last three outings, but runs his best races at the Free State track.


Karangetang is a son of Erupt and a strong case can also be made for another of that stallion’s progeny, Set To Go. This sprint might produce the best finish of the meeting.


1st Race: (16) Wind Water (11) Dontshootthebarman (1) Fiddleronthecliffs (3) Stella Et Clavis

2nd Race: No Selection

3rd Race: (9) Tambavati River (10) After Hours (5) Pinch Hit (4) Second Breath

4th Race: (8) Follow My Path (10) Timeforthat (1) High Roller (2) High Moon

5th Race: (7) Big Burn (1) Bohica (3) Bartholdi (8) Vaseem

6th Race: (3) Taikonaut (1) Karangetang (4) Set To Go (5) Now I Got You

7th Race: (7) Dyce (4) Irish Tractor (11) Indlamu (16) Whafeef

8th Race: (1) Forever Mine (7) Captain Hindsight (12) Clarkson (6) Nordic Rebel

9th Race: (5) Winter Greeting (4) Show Time (2) Ginmealight (7) Mamaquera