News / South Africa

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

Match race looks a thriller

Piere Strydom

Tudor Manor looks a Pick 6 banker on the Turffontein card, while the winner-takes-all R250,000 stake will add an extra dimension to Vaal meeting.

IMPROVING. Tudor Manor ran a cracker in his last race against strong opposition and Piere Strydom believes the Dorrie Sham-trained runner could be a banker in all bets when he contests Race 7 at Turffontein today. Picture: JC Photographics

The Joburg summer season is now in full swing but with all the delays through weather and course problems, it’s been more a stop-start season.

We finally saw the running of the two legs of the WSB Grand Series as well as the consolation race and it proved to be a very exciting day with all three winners having to be decided by the judge. When jockeys end up in these head-up and head-down finishes sometimes the outcome can be attributed more to luck than anything else. It just depends on which horse has his head down at the line.

In this case it was lucky for some and unlucky for others as the two winners of Leg 1 (Soldier On) and Leg 2 (Tsitsikamma Dance) will be lining up in a match race over 1475m at the Vaal on 8 December where the two horses will be racing for a winner-takes-all R250,000.

That should be a real cracker and it will be worth going out to the Vaal as match races always add excitement to a meeting.

I was lucky to take part in a match race at Gosforth Park a number of years back when I rode Brainteaser who unfortunately got whipped by Divine Act. I found out being in a match race puts a jockey under massive pressure and one can quite easily get caught up in what turns out to be a tactical race.

That race was over 1000m and as we jumped out of the starting stalls and I heard Charles van Booma moan that his saddle had slipped slightly as he jumped. My horse was travelling quite comfortably but at the 300m mark I heard Divine Act cruise up to me and I knew we were in trouble. He went on to win comfortably.

But that was over 1000m and that is less tactical than racing over 1475m on the straight Vaal course.

If the two winners go head to head I have my opinion on who will win but that is for a future article.

I hope punters were able to cash in on my value bet last week – Senor Lizard in Race 9 who was easy to back at 20-1.

It’s all about studying a racecard and that is always my advice for punters. Don’t go in blindly, make a calculated decision before having a bet.

We are back on the Standside track today for a day/night meeting at Turffontein and Race 1 is a Maiden Plate over 1600m. There are some horses with good form but they have bad draws. My first selection is Zabarjad, who only just got beaten on debut but is drawn No 10. The danger is Samurai Warrior who also has a bad draw and is coming off a rest.

But my value in the race is Byron Bay. He’s had bad draws in his last two runs and as he is lightly raced he still has room for improvement.

Race 2 is another Maiden Plate and two horses who should fight it out are Out Of Sight and Solemn Promise. I have a slight preference for Out Of Sight and I think he could be a banker in the BiPot

Race 3 is a handicap where my first selection is Morning Catch. The Cape Town horses have excelled here on the Highveld and if fit, he could easily be a Place Accumulator banker. But, to be on the safe side, consider Atyaab and Shogun.

Race 4 is another handicap and on this occasion the two favourites are The Rising Legend and Orpheus are both held by on form on numerous runs by numerous horses. Many of these horses are coming off rests so with the fitness of the other two they could still win it.

For the PA put them both in and for the Pick 6 this could quite easily be a field race.

I’m riding Orpheus who should be better suited to the track and the extra distance. I’m hoping he can win but this is a tough race.

Race 5 is an Assessment Plate where the best merit-rated horse should come out on top. That is Leftrightgoodnight but he hasn’t raced for more than a year and he is badly drawn. That makes Bien Venue a PA banker. For the Pick 6 Iditarod Trail looks to have room for improvement and needs to be included.

Race 6 is a fillies and mares handicap over 1160m and is very difficult. My first choice is Image Award but she has not raced for a couple of months. Eleni is my next selection. I rode her last time out and I feel she will be better over this sprint trip. Others to include are Jameson Girl and Lily Theresa. For the PA include all of these and put in and as many as you can for the Pick 6.

I ride Celestina who ran a good race last time but on previous runs is held by Air Of Success and La Bastide. Eleni on the other hand, holds La Bastide.

Race 7 is a handicap over 1160m and my first selection is Tudor Manor. He’s a three-year-old with scope for improvement and could easily be a PA banker. He’s drawn towards the inside which is a slight concern because in the past the outside was better and he is drawn No 2. However, this is a new surface and everything could change.
For the Pick 6 also include Autumn Rain, Concealed Secret who benefit from gelding, and my ride, Sporting Monarch, who has come down quite a bit in the merit rating.

Race 8 is another handicap and even though it’s a small field it is very competitive. My first selection is Schippers, because she is probably still on the up and the stable is in hot form.

But she is taking on the colts for the first time so consider my ride, Donny G, and Copper Jay for the PA.

For the Pick 6 on form everything else has some winning form so include as many as you can.

Race 9 is another Assessment Plate where Dewali is the best rated horse. He is closely followed by Gimme A Wave, Big Blue Marble and Topmast. Include all in the Pick 6 but for the PA I would favour the speedy horses who are Dewali and Topmast.

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