The last race on Thursday’s Vaal Classic card is a major obstacle in the path of exotic-bet punters as narrowing the choices down to a manageable handful is, well, a handful.
Race 8 is a 2000m Classified Stakes event for horses with a merit rating of 71 and below. Those race conditions immediately get the warning lights flashing – all manner of moderate and unreliable horseflesh is thrown into the mix and anything could happen.
Some brave souls will opt to select the likely favourite as their banker in the final leg of the Pick 6, the PA and Jackpot 2. That horse is Sean Tarry-trained Diamonds N Dollars, who has run five times and always been in the money.
However, the three-year-old is no good thing. For one thing, she is a filly up against older males and she doesn’t look like the easiest critter to handle. Another issue is that her 15 rivals are all the type of horse that could pop up and win when least expected – and often do.
If one eschews the banker option, you have to include as many horses as the budget will allow. And this means economising elsewhere.
Luckily, some of the earlier exotic legs do allow a much narrower choice.
Race 3, first leg of the Pick 6, is a Maiden Plate with just nine runners and another Tarry charge, Immeasurable, stands out as a potential banker.
This four-year-old son of Pomodoro has had a stop-start career to date – doubtless due to injury niggles – but seems ready to start fulfilling his obvious promise.
But he does come up against Naval Guard, a three-year-old colt trained by Paul Peter with three runs experience and a progressive look about him. More conservative players will make this a two-horse leg.
Two picks are also feasible in the following two legs, Races 4 and 5.
In the former, Wedding Bliss and Arizona Lady are the only two runners in single-figure odds, so it would seem a waste of time to study form too deeply.
A similar situation pertains in the fifth, where up-and-coming sprinting fillies Anna Capri and Rapid Fire could be a cut above their opposition. Caveats apply though. For example Rise As One and Kwite A Trip have both shown they can win even though they haven’t been tested in the elevated company the two favourites have.
Picking a Pick 6 is always a balancing act and Wednesday’s Classic card offers a vivid example of that truth.
1 Grace From Above, 4 Quality Joker, 8 Chief Rafeef, 10 King Arthur
2 Kissing Booth, 7 Just Judy, 1 Montbleu, 8 Sky View
1 Immeasurable, 2 Naval Guard, 3 Curfew, 5 Barometer
2 Arizona Lady, 1 Wedding Bliss, 4 Way To Dream, 3 Whole Of The Moon
1 Anna Capri, 2 Rapid Fire, 3 Rise As One, 4 Kwite A Trip
7 Tuscan Winter, 4 Full Velocity, 3 Rock Of Africa, 5 Valetario
3 Bold Jazz, 4 Rock The Globe, 8 Run April Run, 1 Forever Mine
9 Diamonds N Dollars, 11 You Deserve It, 4 Kool Baikal, 15 Rabia The Rebel
1,2 x 1,2 x 1,2 x 3,4,5,6,7 x 1,3,4,8 x 2,3,4,6,9,11,12,15,16 (R1440)
2,7 x 1,2 x 1,2 x 1 x 4,7 x 3,4 x 4,9,11,15 (R128)