Horses / Columnists

Piere Strydom
5 minute read
29 Oct 2016
6:45 am

Trip to Saint-Cloud called off

Piere Strydom

Night racing at Turffontein usually brings on the rain.

Jockey Piere Strydom celebrates after riding Madame Dubois to a win in the HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco Starling Stakes, 31 October 2015, on the Charity Mile race day at Turffontein Racecourse. Picture: Michel Bega

If you are wondering why I’m not riding over the weekend it is because I was due to ride Harry’s Sun at Saint-Cloud in France and I was supposed fly out last night. Unfortunately the horse has a temperature and didn’t eat up. Naturally we don’t want to damage the horse in any way so he has been withdrawn.

As a result I am at home with no rides for the weekend.

Tuesday sees the first night meeting of the season at Turffontein which usually indicates it’s the start of the rainy season. Night meetings can be enjoyable for punters but for those of us who have to do all the work, it is a long day, and some people have to get up early for work the next morning.

The horses sometimes tend to behave badly as some can get a little nervy under the lights. For a lot of these horses it’s a new experience.

Next Saturday is the running of the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile, one of the big meetings in Joburg. Always nice to see all the celebrities as they add some spice to the meeting.

I will be riding Bulleting Home who I won on last time over 1450m on the Inside track at Turffontein. I do have my doubts whether he will be at his best in this company over 1600m on the Standside track but in his favour is that he will be super fit for this race while some of the others could be prepping for the Summer Cup or some other feature race.

At this stage I think New Predator will be the horse to beat but more about that in next week’s column.

Today we have one of those rare meetings at the Vaal on a Saturday. It is on the Inside track and it is difficult to say whether there is much of a bias but if I had to pick my rides I would prefer to be drawn on the inside of the track.

This looks to be a very tough card. Race 1 is not easy to predict as we have a lot of unraced runners but I’m leaning towards Ebony Knight with the value Place bet in the race on Moshav.

Race 2 is the first of two apprentice handicaps. Although I would prefer the inside draw the first of my selections goes to Just A Jag. Last time he was only beaten 1.15 lengths by British Royale where the average merit rating of the field was 79. He ran well above the rating of this field where the average is 58.

The dangers could be Golden Man and Wottahottie. Fieldmarshal Fenix is a reserve runner but has to be an inclusion in all bets should he get in to the race.

Race 3 is a Maiden Plate where our banker in the Place Accumulator will be Fish River Canyon. Her form may not be outstanding but it looks good enough to beat this field.

Race 4 is the first leg of the Pick 6 and here you have no option but to banker Charming Charlie in all bets, not only because he stands out in this field but also because the rest of the card is difficult. He looks the best bet on the card.

Race 5 is another tough fillies’ handicap and here I’m leaning towards Bondiblu, Tobesuretobesure and Cambridge Choir who should benefit from the recent rains we have had.  Those are my three for the PA. For the Pick 6 consider AP Chanel and Consequentially, who has unfortunately picked up a huge penalty for winning last time out. If your pocket allows consider Silver Stripe, Russian Star, Tales Of Mambo and Young Flirt.

Race 6 is the second of the apprentice races and as we are leaning towards the inside draws, Mythical Magic is the first choice. Others to consider, again based on the draws, would be Shine Bright and Beckoning for the PA.

For the Pick 6 consider all of Monarch Air, Might As Well, Wendish, Amazing Var and Blue Light Convoy.

On the form and draw I’m leaning towards Streetwear and Trip To Paradise as the two main runners in Race 7. Others for consideration are Hallo Mr, Move Like Jagger, Shortstop and possibly Triple Beat who should enjoy the softer conditions as he has soundness problems. Consider all of those for the Pick 6 but for the PA go with Streetwear, Trip To Paradise and any one of the others mentioned.

Race 8 is another Handicap but I found my value bet in Sleepinseattle. He ran well last time off a bad draw and now has a plum draw of No 1. He could be a possible PA banker. Others to consider are lightly raced Platinum Legend and South Atlantic.

It will be interesting to see Night March’s performance as his last run was a 3.50-length third behind Buckland. In the same race Casciano finished fourth and for those who believed Casciano was a good a bet at the Vaal on Tuesday should now be pouring their money on to Night March. I personally believe Buckland ran below his best form and that was what probably confused punters.

Race 9 is probably one of the most difficult at the meeting. I’m leaning towards Roquebrune, All Night Flight, Just Africa and Magic. You could possibly include all of those in the PA. For the Pick 6 others to consider are Daspoort, Night Editor and Salute The Sun.

Race 10 is made more difficult by the scratching of Bush Pilot but my selection is Skynight, who is lightly raced and this time around has a good draw compared to last time. He is possibly the horse who can still improve.

Others to consider for Trifectas and Quartets, are Stunned, Schillaci, Oriental Blue, Scotland and Victorious Royal.