Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
20 May 2021
8:37 am

The Vaal: Be adventurous, use imagination, play small(ish), win big

Mike Moon

Tyrone Zackey’s stayer Poppycock has the improving form to suggest he could hold up as a floating banker in the sixth.

Race horse Nebraas will be in the Vaal on Thursday. Picture: Phumelela.


Big fields, moderate horses, wide-open contests – these are the factors that require punters to be on their mettle for the Vaal meeting on Thursday.

A Pick 6 carryover is a distinct possibility, so that’s not a bet to be investing in heavily. Rather focus on other opportunities such as Quartets and the PA, in which imagination and percentage wagering could deliver very good returns.

The best bet on the card is Grimaldi in Race 1, a work rider affair in which the opposition looks distinctly inferior. Paul Peter’s charge is likely to start at prohibitive odds and a Win dividend is unlikely to build us much of a kitty for the rest of the day’s work. So, make him a Quartet banker and be adventurous with the rest of the selections – and hope for some luck.

Races 5 and 6 offer chances of floating bankers in Exactas, Trifectas and Quartets.

In the fifth, Nebraas is one of the shorter-priced favourites on the day and, linked with Imperial Master and some lurkers, could bring some comfort. Nebraas and Imperial Master can perhaps be relied upon to get us through this leg in the PA.

Tyrone Zackey’s stayer Poppycock has the improving form to suggest he could hold up as a floating banker in the sixth – as does Twice The Act. Again, this appears the best pairing for the PA as we load up in other places.

Who said this was an easy game?


Race 1:

2 Grimaldi, 10 Catchthegreenlight, 1 Fort Commander, 3 Silly Fella

Race 2:

12 Eastern Belle, 6 Ancestral Prayer, 16 Theroseofbecharre, 1 Dancing Arabian

Race 3:

5 Lyrical Dance, 8 Hotchiwitchi, 3 Pin Up, 11 Kayla’s Dream

Race 4:

1 Trattoria, 6 Golden Spiral, 9 Aflame, 11 Evening Rise

Race 5:

4 Nebraas, 5 Imperial Master, 2 Apollo Robbins, 7 Ivalo’s Prince

Race 6:

7 Poppycock, 6 Twice The Act, 4 Orus Apollo, 3 Ration My Passion

Race 7:

6 Crown Guardian, 9 Sea Virescent, 3 Singfonico, 7 Dual At Dawn

Race 8:

4 Global Ransom, 15 The Villa Grand, 8 Blue Eyes, 1 Successful Secret

Pick 6:

3,5,8,11 x 1,3,5,6,9,15 x 4 x 6,7 x 3,6,7,8,9 x 1,4,8,9,12,13,15 (R1680)


6,12,16 x 5,8 x 1,6,9 x 4 x 6,7 x 3,6,9 x 1,4,8,15 (R432)