Many people are probably going to spend the Easter Weekend away from home and will be looking for cash to boost their pecuniary reserves. All you have to do to achieve that aim is to decipher tomorrow’s card on the Vaal sand.
That, of course, is easier said than done but there are a couple of races where one could take a chance in the exotics. The Gavin van Zyl yard, which is in top form currently, sends out Princess Milo in Race 3, a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1600m and although she is untested on the surface, the three-year-old looks to be the standout bet on the card.
She is by Fort Wood, whose progeny have run very well on the surface, she is well drawn at No 2 – very important over this course and distance – and she is running against mediocre opposition.
Race 4 is an Allowance Plate over 1600m and it is always worth looking at the best weighted runner. That position is held by Akii Bua, from the Mike de Kock yard, but he has not raced on the sand and he does face some strong opposition. Topping them is stablemate Guy From Dubai who has won his only start on the sand beating Henry Higgins by 2.50 lengths over 1800m.
If he does not find this trip too short, the four-year-old son of Right Approach looks the one to beat.
Zanzibar Man is by Western Winter and he could enjoy the move to the sand while Amber Sail has won two of his three races on the surface but is 2kg under sufferance with Guy From Dubai.
One could take a chance again in Race 5, a FM 86 Handicap over 1600m, and go with just Jumpstart, from the Gary Alexander yard, and the De Kock-trained Ahlaam. Jumpstart has a record of one win, one second and one third in her three runs over the course and distance and she will have the additional bonus of Piere Strydom in the irons. She is a difficult ride but he has won on her twice.
Ahlaam made her Vaal sand debut last time after having spent her early career in KwaZulu-Natal, where she did win on the Polytrack.
Last time the daughter of Asiatic Boy showed good pace over 1800m at the Vaal but faded to run a six-length third to Smart Mart. She will appreciate the drop in distance.
The rest of the card is very tricky and one will need to load all the exotics with as many runners as possible.