New Predator should be spot on in his bid to win the R1-million Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile (Grade 2) over 1600m for the second time at Turffontein this Saturday, according to trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren.
The five-year-old has had one run so far this season, when tiring late to fourth, 2.50 lengths behind Wonderwall in the Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the Inside track.
“I was a little disappointed with that run because he was specifically prepared for that race,” said Vaal-based Janse van Vuuren. “He may have needed that run a little bit more than I thought.
“The Charity Mile was not part of his programme initially because of the weight but (regular jockey) Gavin Lerena suggested we have a crack – especially because the nominations did not look as competitive as the last couple of years.
“Having looked at the race, quite a few of the horses are prepping for the Summer Cup and a few others who could be competitive have lost their form.
“I think his main dangers are the horses with lower weights who find themselves in form, especially Paul Peter-trained Forest Fox, even though he is 0.5kg out at the weights on merit ratings.
I have never seen a yard turning out winners like Paul right now– it’s incredible the form they are in.”
Janse van Vuuren continued: “A good draw was also vital to his chances especially with 61kg because New Predator likes to race handily. Luckily he got a good draw (No 4), which will help us a lot.
“He must have a good chance of winning if things go his way.” New Predator is entered for the Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup on 25 November, but Janse van Vuuren is in two minds whether to allow the Australian-bred son of New Approach to run there.
“Gavin has said he wouldn’t be scared to go 1800m with New Predator but a 2000m race on the Standside track will really test him, so we’ll wait and see the declarations. If he could go to the front, switch off and dictate I’d consider it. But a fast-run Summer Cup wouldn’t be an option.”
Janse van Vuuren has a second string to his Charity Mile bow in the form of Irish Pride.
“We’ve been battling to get his blood where it’s supposed to be and I think it’s slightly better for this race than his last two runs.
Whether is good enough, we’ll find out on the day,” he said.
All the horses in the Charity Mile will run for charity with the winner’s charity getting R150,000. Each horse is publicly represented by a celebrity and has a media partner. New Predator will run for the Peermont Hotel School, a beneficiary of the Peermont Community Benefit Trust, which offers learnership opportunities to residents of Ekurhuleni to get an internationally recognised certificate in hospitality and tourism.
His celebrity is Zimbabweborn model, fashion blogger and video disc jockey with music and entertainment channel MTVBaseAfrica Kim Jayde Robinson and Joburg Style, a high-end quarterly leisure magazine that purports to be the foremost authority on life in the Gauteng Province, Joburg Style with a readership 88,764 is his media partner.
Early betting for the R1-million Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile (Grade 2) over 1600m at Turffontein this Saturday:
28-1 New Predator; 13-2 Classify;
9-1 Forest Fox; 10-1 Finchatton;
11-1 Kilrain; 13-1 Bella Sonata; 14-1
Irish Pride, Bezanova; 15-1 Top
Shot; 16-1 French Navy; 16-1 Mac de Lago; 18-1 Hat Puntano; 22-1
Hermoso Mundo, Tahini, Tilbury Fort; 35-1 Go Direct. SP Social Order, Count Tassilo, Al Fahad.