When William Shakespeare wrote, “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”, he wasn’t searching for a Pick 6 banker but expressing the anguish of King Richard III, stranded on a battlefield, facing enemies bent on bloody vengeance and needing to get out of there pronto.
That’s not quite the situation facing punters at Turffontein on Thursday, but they do face a smidgeon of anguish in their Pick 6 battle, with a couple of legs that could spill blood.
Trainers Paul Peter and Johan Janse van Vuuren provide some potential steeds to carry us to safety in the latter stages of the fight, but the most promising charger could come courtesy of Ashley Fortune.
The horse in question is Bard Of Avon, who runs in Race 4, a 1000m Graduation Plate and the first leg of the exotic.
The son of Var has a merit rating of 105 after two wins in six starts and comes into this plated contest well weighted at 60kg. Most of that rating comes from a second place in the Gold Medallion at Scottsville as a juvenile and a win in a rich Bloodstock SA Sales Cup race at Greyville.
That’s enough proof of quality for the three-year-old to be considered solid banker material in Thursday’s race. When we add in factors such as this being the third run after a rest and the good form of Fortune and jockey Aldo Domeyer, the case becomes persuasive.
The threats are stablemate Abalus with a feather weight, Captain’s Run from the mercurial Corne Spies yard and Van Vuuren’s Ultra Quick, who might still be ahead of the handicappers. But one senses that Bard Of Avon has the class to prevail.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to Fortune…”
1: 2 Motor City Hitman, 4 Spring Will Come, 9 Lil Wahoo, 6 Masuulka
2: Many first timers; watch betting
3: Many first timers; watch betting
4: 1 Bard Of Avon, 2 Ultra Quick, 7 Abalus, 6 Captain’s Run
5: 7 Vuittori, 4 True Brit, 11 Allez Le Bleu, 15 Bridge Of Spies
6: 1 Mufasa, 2 Captain Morisco, 7 Muleta, 15 Permesso Avanti
7: 10 Hello Winter Hello, 2 Al Sakeet, 5 Bold Ransom, 13 Mind Reader
8: 3 Outofthedarkness, 4 Litigation, 7 Waya Yire, 1 Anytime Champ
9: 8 Willow Lane, 6 Ontheverge, 7 Dark Travel, 10 Kiawah
Pick 6: 1 x 4,7,11,15 x 1,2,3,6,7,15 x 2,4,5,7,9,10,13 x 3,4,7 x 6,7,8,10 (R2016)
PA: 1,3,8 x 1 x 4,7,11 x 1,2 x 2,10 x 3 x 6,7,8 (R2016)