Anton Marcus doesn’t often make the long trip from his home in Durban to the banks of the Vaal River in deepest Free State. So, we should take note of the great jockey’s presence at Tuesday’s Vaal Classic meeting – for just two rides.
Marcus partners two first timers for trainer Sean Tarry: juvenile colt Thunderstruck in Race 1 and juvenile filly Rock The Fox in Race 2.
The latter is probably top of the agenda, given the rider’s retainer with owner Ridgemont, but the former will also carry a weight of expectation due to esteemed connections and an impressive pedigree.
The scratching of Thunderstone from the first race has made Thunderstruck’s task easier. The Roy Magner-trained colt won his debut in style and might well have started as favourite, thanks to form and experience. As it is, Tarry’s runner faces mostly fellow debutants.
Paul Peter saddles two of the newbies, Set To Go and Power Broker, with stable jockey Warren Kennedy’s booking on the former suggesting he is the preferred one.
Marcus appears to face a tougher challenge on Rock The Fox, with two winners lined up in opposition – Fennec Fox and River Queraress, both from the Peter yard.
Indeed, Peter holds a strong hand throughout the card, with Tuuletar in the third, Ablueazure in the seventh and Midnight Badger in the eighth essential inclusions in exotics perms.
1: 5 Thunderstruck, 4 Set To Go, 3 Power Broker, 2 Kuznetsov
2: 4 Rock The Fox, 1 Fennec Fox, 2 River Queraress, 5 Rose Velvet
3: 13 Tuuletar, 1 My True North, 8 Monsieur Chevelle, 5 Leshawes
4: 5 Definitely Maybe, 2 Bella Swan, 3 Astral Plane, 8 Liverpool Legend
5: 3 Traveling Wilbury, 5 Wisteria Avenue, 12 Fire Flower, 1 Veld Flower
6: 8 Run As One, 2 Imperial Master, 3 Oyster King, 6 Romeo’s Magic
7: 1 Ablueazure, 2 Secret Is Ours, 14 Speechmaker, 3 Little Rain
8: 2 Midnight Badger, 12 Java House, 6 The Makwakkers, 7 Fantasy Flower
Pick 6: 1,8,13 x 2,3,5,8 x 1,3,5,7,8,12 x 8 x 1,2,3,8,14 x 2,6,12 (R1080)
PA: 1,4 x 13 x 2,5 x 3,5,12 x 8 x 1,2 x 2,12 (R48)