Can Dave The King rule at Vaal?

De Kock's charge rated a 'good thing' at the weights.

There was quite a lot of talk on course in support of Dave The King to win the Grade 2 Allied Steelrode Onamission Charity Mile nine days ago but after leading early on and bursting well clear at the top of the straight, he faded out to finish ninth.

Luck was not on the side of Mike de Kock’s charge because with a storm brewing over Joburg, a mighty wind hit Turffontein and it blasted down the straight. So for Dave The King, it was almost like running into a powerful south-easter in the Cape.

While the fast pace and strong wind were ideal for winner Puerto Manzano, they proved fatal to the hopes of Dave The King, and even though he finished ninth, he was just five lengths behind the winner.

De Kock has decided to run his charge in Race 7, a Conditions Plate over 1400m at the Vaal on Tuesday and he comes into this race with just 56.5kg which based on his merit rating of 124 (dropped from 126 after his last start) makes this race on paper a mere formality because he is the best handicapped runner by at least 8kg.

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One could also question the merit of his rating because his three wins comprise a Maiden Juvenile Plate, a Juvenile Plate and a Graduation Plate, all over 1200m. The main thrust of his merit rating is made up of places in feature races two of them Grade 1 events.

But if he runs anywhere close to his rating, Dave The King will be hard to beat in this line-up.

He could also benefit from the drop in distance as he does have tremendous pace. Gavin Lerena takes the ride for the first time.

The main threat is likely to come from improving three-year-old Guy Gibson, who had an excellent comeback from a rest when fourth behind Purple Pitcher in the BSA Sales Cup over 1450m. His previous outing was in the Golden Horseshoe over 1400m at Hollywoodbets Greyville when a 1.40-length third behind Sandringham Summit.

Roy Magner’s charge carries 52.5kg and has Muzi Yeni in the irons.

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