Jack Milner
2 minute read
28 Apr 2016
6:00 am

Value is with Aldiara

Jack Milner

Little to choose between Old Em and Hollie Point.

Aldiara comes into Race 8 at the Vaal today with a light weight and could cause an upset in this FM 87 Handicap over 1200m.

An interesting MR 87 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m heads up today’s card at the Vaal, mainly because the form is very close.

On the surface the main protagonists appear to be Old Em and Hollie Point who fought out a close finish in their last start. At the line Sean Tarry’s charge had her head in front but an objection on behalf of Hollie Point against the winner saw Alec Laird’s runner promoted in the boardroom.

When they meet this time Old Em has a 0.5kg pull and it just depends on how badly the interference affected the chances of Hollie Point. If it was minor then Old Em, as long as S’manga Khumalo can keep her running straight, could have the edge.

However, there are two other runners who should have a say in the finish – Tarry’s second runner Eloquence, and Stanley Ferreira-trained Aldiara. The two met in a Progress Plate over the course and distance in January won by Swift Sarah and on that occasion Aldiara finished second, a neck behind the winner, while Eloquence ran fourth, a further 1.50 lengths back.

On this occasion Aldiara is 2.5kg better off so she should confirm that form line. In addition, in her last start Aldiara ran third behind Carry On Alice in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1100m at Turffontein on 16 April and that was a very good run indeed.

Leading apprentice Callan Murray rode the daughter of Captain Al on that occasion and he is back in the irons once again. With just 52kg on her back she could the one they all have to beat.

As Khumalo takes the ride on Old Em she could be the stable elect but with the Tarry stable in such good form the jockey arrangements are often meaningless. But the daughter of Trippi deserves a bit of luck as she has not had the best fortune lately. Besides losing on an objection last time, she suffered a saddle slip in her previous start when third behind Ha Lucy.

Hollie Point is officially unbeaten in her two starts so JP van der Merwe will be doing his best to ensure she keeps her good record intact.

Another runner with a chance is Mike de Kock-trained Perfumed Lady. She won her first three starts in good style over 1000m but the Captain Al filly has such good early speed that De Kock was concerned she might battle in races beyond the minimum trip. That has turned out to be the case because she has faded out in both of her starts over further. She could improve but there has to be doubt about her chances over this 1200m.