A highly competitive bunch of horses line up for the top-rated event on Thursday’s programme at the Vaal Classic course – and many a punter will be opting for the field in their exotic bet permutations.
However, well down the betting boards of Race 7, a MR83 Handicap, lurks a bit of a “shrewdy” in the shape of Lucky Houdalakis-trained Ancestral Prayer.
This four-year-old filly by Ideal World has only had five outings – for a win and two seconds – and has oodles of scope for improvement. Her one victory was over 1400m, Next time out, over 1800m on the Classic circuit, she flew at the finish and was beaten by a short head. The following race was all wrong and should be ignored.
Here she faces 2200m, which looks her metier at this stage of development. She carries 55.5kg and Craig Zackey, who knows her well, and she cannot be left out of anything.
The racy opposition means she is not a Pick 6 banker but could be a very useful floating banker for Trifectas and Quartets.
More experienced rivals include The Sash, Un Deux Trois, Opera Glass and Southern Song, but Ancestral Prayer could make a statement against these rising starlets.
There is no standout banker Pick 6 candidate, but punters on a budget might be well advised to go narrow in Race 4 with Red Hot and Sky View and in Race 6 with Oris Apollo and Smiley River.
1 Pick A Lilly, 4 Namibsroos, 3 Time Request, 6 Scottadito
2 Frontline Fighter, 8 Thai Treat, 7 Edward Longshanks, 1 Emerald Flame
1 Lulu’s Buy, 4 Twosidestoastory, 2 Freezing Fast, 3 Master Of Law
6 Red Hot, 3 Sky View, 2 Oceans Pride, 12 Kiawah
1 Kwite A Trip, 2 Singfonico, 8 Warrior Captain, 5 Marengo
1 Orus Apollo, 2 Smiley River, 3 Manterio, 4 Rainy Season
3 Ancestral Prayer, 5 The Sash, 7 Un Deux Trois, 4 Opera Glass
1 Western Dance, 2 Crusade To Royalty, 6 Sophia’s First, 4 Wedding Bliss
1,2,4 x 2,3 x 1,2,3,5,7,8 x 1,2 x 1,3,4,5,7 x 1,2,3,4,6 (R1800)
2 x 1,4 x 3,6 x 1 x 1 x 3,5 x 1,2,6 (R24)