Jack Milner
1 minute read
17 Oct 2015
6:01 am

Van Niekerk in the moonlight

Jack Milner

It is usually sensible play when analysing a Plate race to go with the better handicapped runners.

Picture: AFP.

But occasionally there is not enough information available and based on other factors one might choose to ignore the norm and go with the unusual.

That could be the case in Race 7 at Durbanville tomorrow, a Novice Plate for fillies and mares over 1600m.

Elusive Stars, Vitoria and Sublime Lady share the top spot as the best handicapped runners and they have an advantage of at least 3.5kg over the balance of the field. Both Vitoria and Sublime Lady are coming back from a layoff of 115 and 112 days respectively so both could be in need of the run, while Elusive Stars has yet to win over this distance.

Although 5kg under sufferance with all three, the runner who does catch the eye is Moonlight ‘N Roses. The three-year-old daughter of Captain Al has run just once for an impressive victory. The formbook might show he just beat Brilliant Idea by a length over 1200m at Kenilworth but after losing ground at the start Moonlight ‘N Roses flew up late to win going away. Two winners have come from that form line.

It could also be significant that Grant van Niekerk has taken this ride over Sublime Lady. This will be his first run over the distance and at the course but he does have the benefit of jumping from draw No 1 which could be negated as he did not jump with the field.