Nicci Garner
3 minute read
22 May 2017
6:44 pm

Bank on Pilou at the Vaal

Nicci Garner

It is hard to separate Jameson Girl and Gratuity in the Novice topliner but the former could have the edge.

S’MANGA KHUMALO rides Pilou in Race 3 at the Vaal on Tuesday.

It won’t take long for Pick 6 players to learn their fate in the Pick 6 at the Vaal on Tuesday when Pilou looks a banker bet in Leg 1, a Maiden Plate over 1600m.

Pilou has finished unplaced only once in his five-race career and that was when running as a maiden in the Egoli Mile and finishing a 7.20-length fifth of seven. While none of the horses who finished ahead of him look Hollywood bound, it was a good effort.

He went on to run a neck second to Starpath from a wide draw in a 1400m Maiden Plate at Turffontein last month and there have been a winner and four placers next time from the horses who finished behind him that day.

The Sean Tarry-trained three-year-old looks overdue to post his first career win and with a fairly weak field for jockey S’manga Khumalo to contend with, he should oblige.

The richest race at the meeting is a R100 000 Novice Plate for fillies and mares over 1000m and Jameson Girl looks sure to appreciate a drop in class after running a five-length seventh behind Joan Ranger in the Camellia Stakes at Turffontein last time out.

Her penultimate outing yielded a distant fourth behind Al Danza over 1450m but her 1000m form is excellent with a win and three places from as many starts.

She had three of these rivals behind her when only just failing against Freely Forever at Turffontein in February and meets Scarlet Veil (a 0.50-length third), Burgundy Rose (fourth) and Berdanine on better terms at the weights.

In what could prove to be a tricky race, Gratuity could be her biggest threat. The Louis Goosen-trained three-year-old was not ridden out to the line in her first start after her maiden win third time out but did much better last time she raced, when a 3.20-length second to Effortless Reward over 1000m on the Inside track at the Vaal. Burgundy Rose was 2.30 lengths behind her in fourth.

Collateral form through Burgundy Rose gives Gratuity a slight edge over Jameson Girl but there is not much in it and that Freely Forever run was the Candice Dawson-trained runner’s first following a short rest.

Rebel To The Fore, who also hails from the Tarry stable, is much better than her last two starts suggest and she must have a good chance on the form of her first three starts, when scoring a debut win and running second twice. There is a possibility she might prefer slightly further, but she cannot be left out of calculations.

Another runner to consider is Outlander. She is erratic but ran well on the Inside track here last week, when a 2.60-length third behind Twelve Oaks. She has a 1000m feature place to her credit, when beaten 2.75 lengths into second behind Daring Diva in the Ruffian Stakes, and could give them all a fright at that level of form.

There are a few runners with winning chances in Race 6, an FM 62 Handicap over 1600m, but it might pay to side with Inkolo Eachway.

Clifford Harris, who has had his trainer’s license just less than a year, has kept this mare in fairly fine fettle and the form of her last run was place franked. That was over 1400m on the Inside track here and Inkolo stayed on for third, 3.75 lengths behind Isolde. Sammi Moosa, Beautiful Shay, Victor’s Castle and Razzle My Tazzle were behind her that day. She has her third run after a rest and is developing a good relationship with jockey Muzi Yeni.


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