Jack Milner
2 minute read
8 Oct 2015
6:00 am

Vulcan to burn rivals

Jack Milner

Mighty Manzi weighted to beat Battle In Seattle again.

Battle In Seattle was considered to be one of the better bets on the card on Supreme Cup Day on the Vaal sand but after leading for much of the 1450m journey, he came under pressure and faded out to finish a respectable 2.90-length sixth behind Mighty Manzi.

There had been concerns raised prior to the race that the handicappers might have caught up with Stuart Pettigrew’s charge, giving him a 15-point penalty (7.5kg) for his previous two facile wins on the sand.

That theory will be tested at the course today when Battle In Seattle lines up in Race 2, a MR 89 Handicap over 1450m. The four-year-old son of Sail From Seattle carries 0.5kg more but also has the advantage of jumping from No 4 draw whereas last time he was drawn a lot wider at No 8. On the day very few horses showed from the wider draws, especially over this distance.

The other major change is that champion jockey Gavin Lerena has jumped ship, and he is aboard Vulcan for trainer Scott Kenny. However, Pettigrew has engaged Randall Simons for the ride and he has been in excellent form of late.

It might be worth following Lerena and to side with Vulcan. He has ridden both horses in their last three starts so he has to have a good idea as to who is the better. While the majority of his runs have been between 1000m and 1200m Vulcan has run twice over 1450m on the Vaal sand. On the first occasion he finished a 4.75-length second behind Raise The Red but next time out, with Lerena in irons, he beat Solar Triptych by a short head.

That was an excellent effort, especially if one considers that Alec Laird’s charge ran fifth behind Deputy Jud in the Supreme Cup this year.

Battle In Seattle will get another crack at Mighty Manzi who is just 1kg worse off for the last victory. If the form works out it will keep Mike Azzie’s charge ahead of Battle In Seattle but somehow I feel it could go either way. Form on the Vaal sand has not always been that accurate and there are often others reasons why horses fail at the course.

Nevertheless, it would come as no surprise if Mighty Manzi leads this field home. Juan Paul van der Merwe seems to have got his mojo back and is riding full of confidence yet again. They also have a decent No 3 draw.

Raise The Red will be having his second run after a long layoff and is also now 7.5kg worse off with Vulcan so looks unlikely to confirm the form.