Jack Milner
2 minute read
12 Jul 2016
6:38 am

Kings Archer to fire

Jack Milner

Counterstroke is weighted to go close.


Two important scratchings have thrown Race 7 at the Vaal today wide open. Both Arctica from the Mike Azzie stable and Lucky Luciano from the Sean Tarry yard had to be lively runners in this MR 91 Handicap over 1400m on the Inside track but their withdrawal has made this even appear even more competitive.

Perhaps the best way to go is to side with Stuart Pettigrew’s charge, Kings Archer, who will be ridden by Piere Strydom. This four-year-old colt is a son of AP Arrow and he has been the model of consistency. He has raced 24 times for three wins and 13 places and even when unplaced is rarely far behind the winner.

Of his three wins one has been over this distance while the other two were over 1200m and 1600m respectively. He has only raced three times over the course and distance and they have resulted in a second place and two third placings.

He has raced against some decent runners including Prospect Strike and Arctica and last time finished a three-length runner-up behind talented Fort Meyers. This will be the first time Strydom has ridden the Kings Archer.

If one likes Pettigrew’s runner one also has to give Counterstroke some sort of a chance. He would probably prefer 200m further but in the race won by Arctica over 1400m up the Vaal straight he finished 2.30 lengths behind Kings Archer and is 4kg better off. However, in his next start which was over 1600m up the straight, Lucky Houdalakis’ runner was beaten five lengths by Kings Archer but is still 4kg better off.

Ian Sturgeon takes the ride and they could finish a lot closer together this time.

Tarry still has two other runners – Machismo and Profit Ratio – the latter, with S’manga Khumalo up, looking slightly the better of the pair. The three-year-old son of Dupont returned from a two-month break in his last start and drifted off the betting boards before running a 6.25-length seventh behind stable companion Bulleting Home.

Profit Ratio runs well for Khumalo and should be a lot fitter this time. Strictly on his last run, Profit Ratio could battle to beat Kings Archer as he had Counterstroke 2.50 lengths ahead of him and is just 1.5kg better off. However, he is better than that last effort.

Toro Rosso has been disappointing in his last few starts but the handicapper has started to make a few adjustments and the Mike de Kock-trained colt has dropped eight points, which equates to 4kg, in just two runs.

Hopefully that will make him a lot more competitive again and he could a danger if that is the case. Callan Murray takes the ride.