Jack Milner
4 minute read
24 Mar 2017
10:57 am

Tarry lined up for G2 double

Jack Milner

Joan Ranger could score in Sycamore Sprint.

COMEBACK RUN. Bull Valley comes off a 119-day rest, but the scratching of Trip To Heaven could see him win the Grade 2 Senor Santa Stakes over 1160m at Turffontein tomorrow.

While it hardly com­pares to Dubai World Cup Night, the race meeting at Turffontein comprises three Graded and two Listed races.

There is also a Pick 6 carryover of R600,000 with an estimated pool of R2.5 million.

Topping the card is the Grade 2 Senor Santa Stakes over 1160m on the Standside track and the field was originally headed up by Sean Tarry-trained Trip To Heaven, who sadly has been scratched.

Tarry has number of top-class horses in his yard so you can rely on him to have a decent back-up and on this occasion the lightly raced Bull Valley. This four-year-old son of Toreador has only run seven times for four wins and two places. His lone unplaced run was over 1600m when well beaten by Noah From Goa in the 2015 Din­gaans.

Bull Valley’s last competitive visit to the racecourse was in the Grade 2 Merchants in Novem­ber when he was touched off by Trip To Heaven over this course and distance. If one liked Trip To Heaven to win this one then you have to consider Bull Valley as he would have been 2.5kg better off.

He does have a liking for Turf­fontein as he has raced at the course three times for two wins and that second defeat in the Merchants. With the scratching of Trip To Heaven, S’manga Khu­malo has been switched and now rides Bull Valley.

Graduation Day is clearly a very talented individual and is highly regarded by trainer Joe Som. His soundness has always presented Soma with a challenge but he can run on his day. His last outing was better than it looks on paper as he suffered interference at the start and did well to finish fourth, just two lengths behind Pivotal Pur­suit. He is a horse with a lot of ear­ly pace and having to come from a long way back would have been difficult for him.

He has a great record over the course and distance having com­peted six times for three wins, one second, one third and one fourth.

Anton Marcus has a soft spot for this fellow as he travels to and from Johannesburg to ride him, whenever that race might be. This race is no exception and Marcus is back in the irons.

The second best handicapped runner is Wrecking Ball who is a three-year-old filly. There is no question about the accuracy of her merit rating against the op­posite sex as she beat the boys last time over 1000m. She took them on the Grade 3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap over this course and distance and as she carries just 51.5kg, 1.5kg less than last time, Grant Maroun’s runner is weight­ed to beat Dollar Dazzler, Queen Laurie, African Ruler, Splendid Garden and Doing It For Dan.

But she has yet to prove she can win over further than 1000m.

The Grade 2 Colorado King Stakes has only seven runners but some look suspect over 2000m while others are badly under suf­ferance. French Navy is weighted to win this race and is course-and-distance suited. He has not won for 434 days but can return to best form.

The opposition is not that strong and there is little doubt a visit to the winner’s enclosure will do a lot to restore his confidence. S’manga Khumalo takes the ride.

The main dangers are Deo Ju­vente and Brazuca, if he stays.

The Grade 3 Sycamore Sprint is for fillies and mares over 1160m and Joan Ranger could be the run­ner to beat. Piere Strydom felt 1000m last time would be a touch short for her and she still man­aged to finish second behind Ex­quisite Touch.

She ran a 3.30-length fourth behind Trip To Heaven in the Merchants in November and faces nothing of that class in this field.

Shaama might have found 1600m too far last time, while Swift Sarah can run on her day and loves this sort of trip.

The Listed Derby and Oaks Tri­als could be very tricky but Pago­da could be the runner to beat in the Derby Trial while Belle Rose and improving Street Gaze should fight out the Oaks Trial.