Trainer Corne Spies has never been afraid to take on older horses with his juveniles and he can strike again with Quinlan in Race 6 at the Vaal today.
Because he is a two-year-old his merit rating of 88 is not yet shown, and so he appears to be badly handicapped for this Graduation Plate over 1000m on the Outside track. In fact, he is not badly out at the weights against top-rated Rebel To The Fore if you compare merit ratings.
He has run against the best juveniles in the country, including unbeaten superstar Mustaaqeem and Barrack Street, and is a two-time winner. Spies was content to let Quinlan take on Mustaaqeem at level weights in the Grade 1 SA Nursery over 1160m and although he was beaten 8.25 lengths, he only faded over the final 200m. He proved in his next start in which he beat Rebel’s Champ by a neck over the minimum trip on the Turffontein Inside track that he is a specialist 1000m runner at this stage of his career.
One always gets a good run out of jockey Craig Zackey and he is aboard the son of Sail From Seattle.
Gimmethemoney takes a considerable drop in class and must come into contention. He is one of the best handicapped runners and has the services of Piere Strydom once again. In his last start he finished a 4.35-length fourth behind Isphan and a run earlier went down 3.95 lengths to Hashtag Strat. The average merit rating in both of those races was 82 and in this event it is 65.
On their run behind Greasepaint Gimmethemoney should still have the beating of Al Azraq, despite that latter now being 3kg better off as Clinton Binda’s charge was 7.50 lengths back. However, Al Azraq ran well behind Amazing Strike last time in stronger company and should end up a lot closer to Gimmethemoney on this occasion.
Rebel To The Fore takes on the boys for the first time but Sean Tarry‘s charge has performed well enough in feature races against her own sex to make her competitive. Although only a one-time winner she is rarely far off them and should give the boys a run for their money.
The best bet on the card comes in Race 2 where Tarry saddles Celestina. This two-year-old filly finished second behind Green Plains in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes and a return to maiden company makes her a standout bet and banker in the BiPot.