What is so different about the World Sports Betting Grand Heritage over 1475m at the Vaal on Saturday 30 September is that it gives runners who would not normally get into races carrying a large stake the opportunity to share in the R750,000 up for grabs.
In addition, this Non-Black Type event allows for 28 runners. However, the one condition is that in order to be considered for inclusion in the final field, every horse nominated must have had at least a minimum of one run from time of first entry up to and including the time of final supplementary entries on 18 September.
So it comes as no surprise many of the hopefuls are out in full force at today’s Vaal meeting and in fact, nine of the 10 runners in Race 4, a MR 94 Handicap over 1400m, have been entered to run in the Grand Heritage.
Forest Fox ran third in the Grand Heritage Consolation last year, beaten just 0.30 lengths by Prince Of Orange, and trainer Paul Peter, no doubt, would love to pick up the big cheque in the main race this time around.
He went on to win his next start over 1400m at the Vaal later in October but since then, while being placed in all but one of his next eight races, Forest Fox has not paid another visit to the winner’s enclosure.
Unfortunately, because he is consistently running places and not far behind the winners, his merit rating has stayed firm at 91 but Peter will be delighted he has only been allotted 57.5kg for the Grand Heritage. He looks ready to win, especially with Weichong Marwing aboard.
Kings Archer is another consistent sort who is battling to win. He was strongly fancied to win last year’s Grand Heritage but was drawn on the wrong side of the track at No 1 and then had to deal with some interference but was only beaten 2.10 lengths.
His rating has come down a little and this year he has been given 56.5kg against the 58kg he had to carry last year.
Trading Profit comes into this race with bottom weight of 52kg but Karl Zechner has been carded to ride 0.5kg overweight. He is set to carry 51kg in the Grand Heritage but could be on the cusp of making the final field and will need to get his merit rating up if he is to get into the R750,000 race.
Toro Rosso won his only race over 1400m at the Vaal but has only had one race since being off for a year and clearly needed it as he was reported to be blowing heavily. He might need another but Anthony Delpech has come up for the ride.