This is what trainer Joey Soma is going through every day with Graduation Day. The son of Trippi is a prodigious talent but at five-years-old he has only raced three times. On debut he went down by the narrowest of margins to Mike De Kock-trained Mutamakkin but it took almost another six months before the gelding raced for the second time.
When he did the race turned into a procession as he put 11.25 lengths between himself and second-placed Beach In A Bottle who has turned into quite a decent performer.
It was only one month to his next start and once again he ran out a very easy winner, beating Night Editor by 3.25 lengths.
Once again it is almost six months since his last run and finally Graduation Day is carded to make his fourth appearance at the Vaal today. He is slated to contest Race 9, a MR 88 Handicap over 1200m on the turf. It is worth noting that Anton Marcus has ridden him to victory in his last two starts and the former champion jockey has once again opted to travel to the Vaal to climb aboard Soma’s charge.
Soma would not take a chance and run Graduation Day unless he was sure the gelding was in the pink of condition. I am also sure that somewhere along the way Soma would like nothing better than to pick up a feature with this horses. He trained one of the best sprinters this country has ever seen – Special Preview – so he knows the quality it take to win the big events.
The main threat looks to be Captain Aldo who has made a home in the No 2 box lately. In his last four starts St John Gray’s runner has finished second behind Gambol, Anjaal, Platinum Jet and Pivotal Pursuit. The first three of those races have been over 1400m at the Vaal and the last was over 1450m on the Turffontein inside track.
He reverts to 1200m but at this stage of his career has yet to place over the trip, let alone win. However, Gray has engaged Piere Strydom to ride the son of Captain Al and will be hoping the jockey will be able to produce some magic.
Strydom has just returned from his honeymoon so should still be in some form of euphoric state and hopefully for the connections Captain Aldo will pick up on the vibe.