Horses fresh off a maiden win are often passed over by punters, but sometimes it pays to go against the idea that such runners seldom win again straight away.
A case for flouting conventional wisdom can be made out in Race 7 at the Vaal tomorrow, when eight races are carded for the Inside track.
Both The Rising Legend and Savannah King show signs of being rapidly improving three- year-olds who are likely to have the beating of their opposition in this MR 74 event over 1500m.
The Rising Legend, trained by Geoff Woodruff, has only been to the races twice for a second place and a win. Both those runs were at Turffontein over 1160m and a clearly more suitable 1600m but the Vaal turf should hold no demons for this son of Eightfold Path.
The Rising Legend has shown inexperience at the start, but the expert hands of Gavin Lerena should see him jumping on terms this time and overcoming a slightly wide draw at 10.
There is little that needs to be said about Woodruff’s ability to get young horses firing early in their careers and this gelding, racing in the silks of the estimable Louis The King, could register a follow-up win.
Also fresh off a second and a first in his last two outings, Savannah King must be taken seriously. He is sent into ba le from the inform stable of Stuart Pettigrew and has Piere Strydom directing operations from the plate.
Three runs back, this son of Tiger Ridge clashed with The Rising Legend and came off second best. In a 1160m race at Turffontein in early December, won in a canter by Lobo’s Legend, The Rising Legend was a distant second, but some way ahead of Savannah King who finished 12 lengths off the winner.
Both contenders have performed better since then, over more ground, and choosing between the two is tricky as such young horses can improve quickly and at different rates within a few months.
A third runner trying to register back-to-back wins is Ace Of Speed from the Erico Verdonese yard.
This Ideal World colt won a 1160m sprint at Tuffontein in late December at his third start. The 94-day break from racing follow- ing that and a step up in trip make him a bit of an imponderable, but he has shown he can live up to his name and is surely worth including in Trifectas and Quartets.
Tumbling Stream, another three-year-old, has more exposed form than those three rivals but it is good form. With a win and four seconds to show for his 11 starts, Stephen Moffatt’s charge obviously has ability and his greater level of experience might persuade some punters to put him at the top of their lists.
Of the rest, four-year-old Copper Pot should be considered. The gelding by Visionaire once hinted at big things to come for trainer Sean Tarry, but went off the boil and has been very inconsistent in recent times.
If he rediscovers his best form he could pop up in the winner’s box. Dennis Schwarz partnered him to a surprise second place two runs back, so the booking of the promising apprentice is obviously a bid to rekindle some magic.
Woodruff can land a double to close the day’s proceedings. He saddles Bush Pilot and No Mans Land in Race 8, the lucky last, and both have winning chances.
The la er is another up-and- comer with a single victory to his name.
His five starts to date have revealed a degree of immaturity, but it is clicking into place for the progeny of Oratorio and a decisive click could come tomorrow. He might turn out to be one of the better bets on the card.