Jack Milner
2 minute read
20 Aug 2015
6:00 am

Marcus mystery at Vaal

Jack Milner

When studying form for a race meeting, one looks for any possible anomalies that could point one towards a winner.

CHOICE OF JOCKEY. Anton Marcus is carded to ride Prince Of Orange in Race 2 at the Vaal today, his only ride of the day. Picture: Supplied

There is one that hits you in the face like a custard pie in Race 2 on the Vaal sand today as Anton Marcus has been carded to ride Prince Of Orange in this Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m.

This is the only mount Marcus is slated to ride at the meeting.

The card was finalised last Thursday and at this stage no jockey changes have been announced so it could be that Marcus will be coming up to the Vaal for just one ride.

Prince Of Orange would not be winning out of turn, even without Marcus in the irons. He is a three-time winner who contested some of the best three-year-old features of the season. While he failed to win any of those races this son of Indigo Magic was rarely far behind the likes of Harry’s Son and French Navy.

His best performance came in the Listed Secretariat Stakes over 1400m Turffontein where he finished a 0.10-length second behind Mitraad. What is also significant is that Prince Of Orange won his maiden over 1000m on the Vaal sand so he should not have any problems with the surface. He is beautifully drawn at No 2.

This is a stakes race and as such, it does favour the better handicapped runners but this time there is very little in it. All The Bids has a 1kg advantage over Mike de Kock-trained filly Ahlaam and she has a 2.5kg pull over a whole group of horses of which Prince Of Orange is one, Also in that group are Killua Castle, Lavender Landscape and Guy From Dubai.

All The Bids seems to have gone off the boil but Ahlaam does have a decent record over the course and distance. However, all of her wins were against other fillies, although she did finish a six-length third behind stable companion Smart Mart over 1800m at the track. Randall Simons takes the ride on the Argentinian-bred filly and she does deserve respect.

Killua Castle has won twice at this course and he is a decent performer on his day. He finished a neck second behind Louis The King in the Grade 1 Sansui Summer Cup last year and then went on to capture the Grade 2 London News Stakes over 1800m at Turffontein.

Two runs back he ran a 5.10-length third to Legal Eagle in the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap, also over 1800m at Turffontein and then contested the Greyville 2200m which is considered to be the Vodacom Durban July consolation. He ran well down the field behind Ultimate Dollar but trainer Geoff Woodruff believes Greyville is not Killua Castle’s favourite track.

He takes a big drop in class and could be a good Trifecta and Quartet contender.