Spies has a strong hand in Race 2 with three runners.
The Corne Spies-trained runner won the R1-million Emerald Cup (Grade 2) over 1450m on the Vaal sand in September, totally destroying the best runners on sand in the country by three lengths.
There is no question this son of Sail From Seattle loves this track, having won all three of his starts at the course, but he has yet to prove he stays 1600m. Tommy Gun was given a 4kg penalty for his victory in the Emerald Cup and under the race conditions is well weighted to win Race 2 at the course tomorrow.
After the Emerald Cup Spies tried him out in three feature races on the turf but to no avail. He first tried the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over 1600m at Turffontein but after leading for the early part of the journey, gave up the ghost at the 400m mark and ended up in 15th position in the 16-horse field, 29 lengths behind winner Bezanova.
He then dropped to 1160m and tried the Grade 2 Merchants at Turffontein but was never in contention and ran 16 lengths off Trip To Heaven. With the going soft in the Lebelo Stakes Tommy Gun fared a lot better, and although he only managed eight place in the 1000m race at Turffontein he was only 3.25 lengths behind winner Trip Tease.
The main concern is whether Tommy Gun will see out 1600m. The manner in which he won over 1450m gives the impression he should not be troubled by the extra 150m. Fanie Chambers, who rode him to victory in the Emerald Cup, is back on board.
Spies has a strong hand in this race and sends out two other runners who have good form at this course. Kiss Me Hardy has raced twice on the Vaal sand for a win and a second place but he is even more questionable over this distance as he has failed dismally in races beyond 1200m although he has yet to race on the sand over longer.
All The Bids loves the course and has won over 1600m and 1800m at the course and it is interesting to see Spies has engaged Piere Strydom for the ride. Under the race conditions All The Bids is not well weighted but he is drawn No 1 and that is always useful when Strydom is aboard.
One runner of interest is Glorious Jet, who has his first run on the Vaal sand. St John Gray’s runner is by Jet Master and they often enjoy the surface. However, the gelding cannot afford to concede ground at the start.