Jack Milner
2 minute read
14 Jul 2015
10:24 am

If seeking a Fortune, just Call Kelly

Jack Milner

St John Gray has not exactly been going through a purple patch of late but the one light in what has been a translucent period for this owner come trainer come breeder has been Call Kelly.

NARROW LOSS. Call Kelly (Right) is touched off by Night Editor at Turfffontein earlier this month but is expected to get back into the winner's enclosure at the Vaal today. Picture: Supplied

In his last seven starts this son of Announce has notched up two wins, four seconds and third place and last time out looked desperately unlucky to go down a short head to Night Editor. One more stride and the race would have been his.

Andrew Fortune has been in fertile form since arriving on the Highveld towards the end of last month and has ridden six winners and placed 12 times from 33 rides. Only Gavin Lerena and Piere Strydom have performed better in that period.

Fortune was aboard Call Kelly for the first time when he was narrowly beaten and the former SA champion jockey does not make the same mistake twice. Today they line up in Race 5 on the Vaal turf, a MR 80 Handicap over 1200m, and although the field is marginally stronger than last time, Gray’s runner will take a power of beating. This time one can expect Fortune’s timing to be spot on when Call Kelly makes his charge.

Based on his last run behind Greasepaint, Rough Justice stands out as the main threat. Mike Azzie’s runner showed good pace before capitulating to Greasepaint late in the race. The runner-up has gone on to win again so that form looks quite useful.

The three-year-old gelding does take a massive weight increase in this event, carrying 6kg more than last time but this is balanced by a commensurate drop in class. Johnny Geroudis takes the ride on the son of Right Approach.

Based on the form behind Greasepaint, if Rough Justice has a chance then so must Foyle. The Mike de Kock-trained runner came back from a rest earlier this month and finished a creditable 2.95-length third behind Greasepaint, receiving 8kg from Roy Magner’s charge.

Foyle comes into this race with 60kg on his back and receives 2.5kg from Rough Justice. That puts them close together but Foyle, the son of Tiger Ridge, is not always the most reliable of runners.

He does have his problems but is also loaded with talent and if in the right frame of mind can easily give this field a hiding. JP van der Merwe takes the ride.

Those three should fight it out but trainer Coenie de Beer has Talktothestars in good form and although the gelding takes a hike in class, he will be ridden by Gavin Lerena and must be respected.