News / South Africa

Piere Strydom
5 minute read
20 Oct 2018
5:55 am

Grand Series delays affect plans for horses

Piere Strydom

Today we will be having a third attempt at getting the WSB Grand Series off the ground. Mardi Gras still looks hard to beat in Leg 1 of the Series.

IMPRESSIVE. Forest Express ran away from her opposition over 2600m last time and a repeat performance from Sean Tarry’s charge is expected in Race 1 at Turffontein today. Picture: JC Photographics

Today we will be having a third attempt, let’s hope we can finally get the WSB Grand Series off the ground. The organisers must be pulling their hair out with one issue after another preventing the running of the race, which are now two races.

From a trainer’s point of view the delays create a number of problems but mainly because they have programmes for these runners and the delay could affect their future plans. Unfortunately, we cannot control the forces of nature.

Last week we had a lot of rain and the fact the Inside track has taken a lot of racing meant the start of the track would become an issue, but all credit to the track manager who had the course in decent condition for racing on Thursday.

We have the same field and draws for the two legs of the Grand Series as well as the consolation race as we had last week. Race 4 is Leg 1 of the Series and is the trickier of the two. My main selections are Divine Odyssey, Soldier On, Lake Kinneret and Purple Diamond. They all have nice draws so include all of those in the Place Accumulator. For the Pick 6 if you look past those you need to include almost the field so put in the number of runners your pocket can afford.

I’m riding Kings Archer who unfortunately has a shocking draw so any place money would be welcome.

Race 5 is Leg 2 of the Series and this race looks different as Mardi Gras has strong form, is an improver and looks hard to beat. Banker him in all bets.

Race 6 is the Grand Series Consolation and in this instance the main runners would be Flying Winger, Catkin and Just As I Said. I rode Catkin last time over 1200m which was too short so over this distance he has to be a huge runner.

I ride Jubilee Line but I will be carrying overweight so it will be a difficult task for him. He also might find this track too fast. For the PA go with Catkin and Flying Winger. Add Just As I Said, Big Mistake and Penny Royal into the Pick 6.

Going back to the beginning, Race 1 is an Assessment Plate and Forest Express comes out on top but just 0.5kg better off than American Indian because of the 1.5kg apprentice allowance. We’re also not sure about American Indian’s stamina over this 2600m.

Race 2 is another Assessment Plate and the horse who comes out best on ratings is Chariot Of Gold. She needed her last start and prior to that had raced against quality opposition. Her danger should be Fariha who has not yet reached her proper merit rating and therefore needs to be included in the BiPot as she is lightly raced and should make massive improvement.

I’m riding Gottalottaluv who could the danger to the top two but as she is a big, long striding filly she might prefer a more galloping course.

Race 3 is a Pinnacle Stakes and the best handicapped horse should win. Many horses are coming off a rest but I will lean towards Takingthepeace and Fort Ember who have run recently. Takingthepeace is a Grade 1 race winner, she’s young and improving so should be good enough for a PA banker.

Race 7 is another Assessment Plate and Captain And Master is well ahead of the field and is another potential banker. If you are concerned he is not at his peak stable companion Warrior’s Rest could be the back-up.

Race 8 is a fillies’ handicap and arguably the best runner could be Chitengo. But she is coming off a rest and from her bad draw she has a tough task. She could still be good enough to overcome all that but I would consider Pool Party and Mar Del Sur for the Place Accumulator. For the Pick 6 add Chitengo, Kirkconnell Lass, Visuality and Perfect Tigress.

Race 9 is a MR 68 Handicap and this looks quite tricky. I’m leaning towards the young guns who have more scope. They are Senor Lizard, Mutrib and Master Magic. Those are the ones for the PA.

The reason I like Senor Lizard is that he ran against opposition who are feature-race material, his rating has dropped significantly and he has a 4kg claimer up which makes him well weighted in a moderate field. Even though he was beaten a long way you can expect major improvement in his third run after a layoff in which he was gelded.

For the Pick 6 consider older horses Wonderous Climber, Kurt’s Approval and my ride, Bosphorus.

Race 10 is a Maiden Plate in which those who have raced do not have the strongest form so it would come as no surprise to see one of the first-timers win this. There has been money for Mike de Kock’s first-timer Anjom so keep an eye on any further moves.

I ride Elusive Thunder who has as much chance as any of the other raced runners but has landed a shocking draw. What will help her is experience of this track and hopefully we can run a place.

Race 11 is a Maiden Plate over 1200m where the well-drawn runners with the best form are Queen Rachel, Shadow Queen and Bel Canto Chorus. There are some unraced runners but they all have bad draws which will not make life easy for them.

Race 12 is a handicap over 1000m and it is quite competitive but I’m leaning towards Pius Oil and Now And Forever being the main selections. I was hoping to ride Queen Of War as last time I jumped her well but she overraced. The removal of the blinkers could result in some decent improvement.

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