Conditions favour Barbaresco at the Vaal

The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained three-year-old has been ultra-consistent

Barbaresco takes a massive drop in class at the Vaal on Tuesday and looks hard to oppose in Race 6, a Graduation Plate over 1400m up the Vaal straight.

Other than his last race, the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained three-year-old has been ultra-consistent, notching up two wins, three seconds and a third in his first six starts.

Those runner-up positions in particular were impressive as they were against Pure Predator, Sandringham Summit and Main Defender, three of the best three-year-olds in the country.

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The 1.10-length second behind Main Defender was particularly noteworthy as it came in the Grade 3 Betway Got The Greenlight Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein. That performance looked even more significant when Main Defender came out to win the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m, beating some of the best milers around.

Under the race conditions of the Got The Greenlight Stakes, the penalty given to Barbaresco was restricted, despite having run way above that rating. That meant when he ran his next race in a MR 96 Handicap over 1600m, he was thrown in at the weights and it came as no surprise that he was sent out at odds of around 6-10. He duly obliged, and easily beat Slinky Mapimpi by 2.50 lengths.

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Barbaresco was then entered for the Grade 1 SA Classic for three-year-olds over 1800m but he disappointed when finishing eighth, 6.50 lengths behind Purple Pitcher. There were excuses, however, he was drawn widest of all, ended up too far back and trying 1800m for the first time the Gimmethegreenlight gelding did pull.

It is possible he may have found 1800m a touch too far.

Barbaresco should relish the drop to 1400m and the fact he is reunited with jockey Gavin Lerena.

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