That question of fillies-only form against the form of the colts comes into the spotlight at the Vaal tomorrow when She’s A Giver lines up in a Graduation Plate over 1200m on the Outside track.
This three-year-old daughter of Philanthropist looked to be top-class when winning the Grade 3 Starling Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein, beating Maleficent by 3.75 lengths. The handicappers were certainly taken with it and penalised her 25 points (12.5kg) for that win.
She then went to the Cape for the summer where she first contested the Grade 1 Fillies Guineas but was drawn No 15 over 1600m and that already put her on the back foot. Gavin Lerena had to try and overcome the hurdle and he ended up taking her to the front. But after leading the field into the straight there was little left in the tank and she faded to finish 5.75 lengths behind Just Sensual.
Johan Janse van Vuuren’s charge then contested a Conditions Plate over 1400m. She was drawn well enough in a nine-horse field and off just 52.5kg she was weighted to win easily. She went off at 1-1 but despite racing up with the pace, again faded to finish sixth, 3.20 lengths behind Supercilious.
She then ran in the CTS 1600 and was again drawn well but finished ninth behind William Longsword. She certainly did not run up to her merit rating of 104 in the Cape. Also, if one considers how disappointing Maleficent has been recently then in hindsight, was that 12.5kg penalty accurate?
She has been lowered to a rating of 102 so when she runs in Race 9 at the Vaal tomorrow, she is still the best handicapped runner by at least 3.5kg. Old Em, who also has a questionably high rating, is next best and is another 3.5kg better off with third best weighted, Apocalypse Now.
So, unless She’s A Giver has improved markedly since returning from Cape Town, her current rating cannot be taken as an accurate guide to the outcome of the race. I wouldn’t leave her out of a Pick 6 or Jackpot but I would look elsewhere for the winner.
Although he is coming back from a 72-day layoff that winner could be Mike Azzie-trained Angel’s Power.
In his penultimate start over this course and distance he ran a 0.30-length second behind Rafeef, also in a Graduation Plate.
On a line through Mike de Kock’s charge, Angel’s Power should have the beating of Apocalypse Now.
In that race at the Vaal he was ridden by Piere Strydom who again takes the ride on the son of Miesque’s Approval.