Just As I said and Fieldmarshal Fenix have had a couple of duels lately with the former getting the better of Sean Tarry’s charge in both starts.
On the first occasion they raced over 1160m at Turffontein and Fieldmarshal Fenix finished fifth behind Lucky Houdalakis’ runner, beaten 3.65 lengths. He was giving 4.5kg to Just As I said but when they met over the same course and distance a fortnight later Fieldmarshal Fenix came in 2.5kg better off. This time he finished second, beaten just one length by the son of Just As Well.
Today they meet for the third time, on this occasion in Race 6 over 1200m at the Vaal, and there is another 1.5kg swing in favour of Tarry’s charge.
That should bring them very close together but somehow Just As I Said knows how to win while Fieldmarshal Fenix almost has a wish to be in the No 2 box.
This could be a case of famous last words but the Houdalakis runner can make it three wins in a row. Marco van Rensburg has built up a good rapport with this four-year-old gelding and takes the ride again. S’manga Khumalo takes the ride on Fieldmarshal Fenix.
One runner who could beat them both is Rebuked. After winning on debut in November 2015, this son of Albert Hall was off for more than a year, a period during which he was gelded, and racing again on 17 December last year. He looked well beaten at the 200m mark but then took off late and went down just 0.60 lengths to Kapitan.
Many pundits fancied Stephen Moffatt’s charge to win next time out but he put up a typical second run after a layoff and ran flat, finishing 4.75 lengths behind Mombela. He will be having his third run back and should be fit and at his best, Gunter Wrogemann takes the ride.
This is a very difficult card but the best bet could come up in Race 9 where Geoff Woodruff saddles Red Ridge. This daughter of Silvano finished third on debut, beaten 1.40 lengths behind Comtessa Antonia.
Red Ridge started 9-20 in her next start and easily romped to a 3.75-length win over Rose Of Soweto. While the runner-up remains a maiden third-placed Lucky Lulu, who finished four lengths back, came out to win her next start.
Gavin Lerena rode her on that occasion and is back in the irons.