Jack Milner
2 minute read
11 Oct 2016
6:01 am

Chepard to get back on the winning trail

Jack Milner

Cashin, Chili Con Carne look the main dangers.

READY: THIS WILL BE HIS THIRD RACE AFTER A LAYOFF AND HE SHOULD BE AT A PEAK

Chepardo made a great start to his career, winning his first four races. He was narrowly beaten in his fifth start but it was in a very strong field.

Since then Alec Laird’s charge has finished a well-beaten fourth behind Kings Archer and has been unplaced twice.

Laird could have found the ideal race for the five-year-old son of Trippi and Chepardo should be able to get back on a winning track when he contests Race 5 on the Vaal Classic course today.

He runs in a MR 84 Handicap over 1600m and is taking a slight drop in class. In addition, this will be his third run after a layoff so he should be in peak condition. His last race was in the R750,000 World Sports Betting Grand Heritage over 1475m on 1 October and there were many pundits who gave him a chance in that contest. However, he was not particularly well treated under the race conditions and he ran accordingly, finishing a 4.20-length 10th behind Irish Pride.

As a result of that effort, the handicappers have dropped him two points and that will count in his favour as well. Based on his last two starts up the Vaal straight he seems to prefer racing around the turn, which will be the case on this occasion. Apprentice Callan Murray knows the gelding well and is back in the irons.

Chepardo’s main challengers look to be Cashin and Chili Con Carne. Cashin has been the model of consistency and in eight starts has a record of three wins and four places. He looked unlucky last time when touched off by Belenos because he started to hang under pressure. He rallied but just failed to hang on.

He has only had one run over 1600m and that was when he won his maiden. That was up the straight and against much weaker opposition. Chepardo is sure to give Cashin more of a challenge but Ormond Ferraris’ charge is improving and cannot be written off. Sherman Brown takes the ride and they jump from barrier No 9.

Chili Con Carne tries 1600m for the first time but he has won over 1400m and the manner in which he runs indicates he should get the trip. He ran in a couple of the juvenile features but, while not embarrassing himself, he did not manage to place in either.

He was gelded in August and his comeback run over 1200m was most encouraging as he was the fastest finisher behind British Royale.