The further you go into the race card for the Vaal’s Tuesday meeting, the more difficult it gets to find winners. The last three races call for the famous old blindfold-and-dart technique.
We need to find good prospects earlier on the programme – to build a bank for the skirmishes ahead and to trim costs of exotic perms.
Fortunately, Race 2, a Maiden Juvenile Plate for fillies, offers up a standout bet in the shape of Warship, a Candice Dawson runner who impressed with a runner-up effort on debut and should have little difficulty in going one better in a moderate-looking field.
Race 3, a Maiden Plate, presents something similar with the juvenile colt Dyce, from the Luck Houdalakis stable.
This nicely bred son of William Longsword out of a Gallileo mare has had two trips to the races and caught the eye both times. He showed inexperience, but still managed to get to a length of the winners of those races – which were both over this course and 1200m trip.
Craig Zackey climbs on for the third time and, by now, will know what’s required to get Dyce rolling.
The main threat comes from debutants Never No Way and General Hancock, from the powerhouse stables of Mike de Kock and Paul Peter, who know how to perform the first-time-winner trick.
The next two events on the programme also offer a spot of cheer against the approaching storm.
In Race 4, Sean Tarry’s young filly Meteoric is on the rise, while Paul Matchett’s Lady Of The Flame is overdue a win. These two are likely to fight it out, but one or two other runners could be considered for inclusion by nervy punters.
Race 5 throws up Peter-trained Grimaldi, who is bred in the purple but has been expensive to follow in his seven runs to date. However, it looks like he has found the right race here to break his duck.
1 Alesian Chief, 2 Brief Crusade, 6 Song Of Liberty, 3 Gone In Time
7 Warship, 8 What a Miracle, 3 Prettier in Pink, 5 Three Hills
5 Dyce, 4 Never No Way, 8 General Hancock, 1 Lazy Guy
11 Meteoric, 1 Lady Of The Flame, 4 Frosted Ice, 10 McKenna Skye
1 Grimaldi, 8 Brenner Pass, 2 Believeinthefuture, 4 Parker Getrix
7 Ace Of Spades, 2 Godswood, 3 Winter Watch, 1 Enjoy The View
2 All Of Me, 5 Greens, 12 Twelve Oaks, 1 Kayla’s Champ
7 Lucy In The Sky, 9 Big City Girl, 10 Feather The Nest, 8 Upcloseandpersonal
5 x 1,4,11 x 1,8 x 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 x 1,2,4,5,6,9,12 x 4,7,8,9,10,14 (R2016)
7 x 5 x 1,11 x 1 x 2,3,7 x 2,5,12 x 7,9,10 (R54)