Unfortunately for his supporters jockey Anthony Delpech said he had to push the horse from the opening bell and his mount could only finish fourth, beaten 6.95 lengths by Deputy Jud. “He did not have a chance to settle; I was at him the whole way round. It’s impossible to win from that draw,” said Delpech.
With the sand track at the Vaal being shut down at the end of the month, I asked Mathew de Kock how Toro Rosso will do on the turf. “His work on the grass is excellent,” responded the younger De Kock.
He did start his career with two runs on the turf, finishing a four-length second behind Talca on debut and then beating Kahal Legal by 1.60 lengths.
Unfortunately he had issues in both of those runs. He was restless in the build-up to his debut race and came away with a mouth injury and he had breathing issues in his second race and it was probably those reasons that resulted in the decision to run him on the sand.
There will be no draw problems when he contests Race 7 today, a MR 102 Handicap over 1450m on the inside track as Toro Rosso and Delpech are drawn in barrier No 2. The Brazilian-bred son of Elusive Quality has good gate speed and it would come as no surprise if Delpech attempts to make all the running.
Prince Of Orange looks the obvious danger as the Michael Azzie-trained runner has good form at this course. He has run three times on the inside track for a win and two places. He is also coming back from a short break and will hopefully race fresh. Juan Paul van der Merwe takes the ride.
This 1450m could still be a touch short for Heavy Metal but there was a lot to like about his last start over 1000m on this track as he finished just 5.50 lengths behind stablemate Zambezi River.
This race could give some indication as to whether the 2013 Durban July winner is starting to regain his old form.