Racing tip: Expect a Cliff Hanger at Turffontein
Lerena’s mount has the strongest form.
Cliff Hanger has raced against stronger opposition than he will meet in Race 6 at Turffontein tomorrow. Picture: JC Photographics
There are 10 horses carded to go to post for Race 6 at Turffontein tomorrow, a MR 96 Handicap over 1000m on the Standside track, and two trainers will be responsible for six of the runners.
Johan Janse van Vuuren and Clinton Binda saddle three apiece, they have the numbers and are expected to fight out the finish.
Perhaps top of the pile is Janse van Vuuren-trained Cliff Hanger who comes into this event with the strongest form.
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The three-year- old Canford Cliffs gelding has raced six times for three wins, a second and a third, and has taken on some very decent performers.
The stable may have felt disappointed when he went down 2.25 lengths to Rulership in his last outing but in retrospect it has proven to be a highly impressive effort as the winner has gone on to win twice more since in even stronger company, including the Grade 3 Lebelo Sprint over this course and distance.
Although he carries top weight of 61kg, Cliff Hanger looks a slight cut above the opposition and he will also have the services of Gavin Lerena in the irons.
Another three-year-old could have the privilege of chasing him home and that is Ziyasha from the Binda yard.
He finished 1.50 lengths behind Cliff Hanger in the race won by Rulership but then received a 1kg penalty for chasing home Golden Sickle in the Sophomore 1000 over this track and trip.
Binda has managed to offset the deficit marginally by engaging apprentice Siyanda Sosibo to ride the Rafeef gelding this time. Sosibo claims 1.5kg which means Ziyasha will be 0.5kg better off this time but that might not be enough to turn the result around.
Binda also has Esquevelle and Qhawe Lami in the line-up and they too should be competitive. Esquevelle ran six lengths behind Rulership in the Lebelo Sprint recently but does look held by Cliff Hanger on that form line.
However, it is worth taking into account that Binda has engaged Richard Fourie for that ride while he will have Muzi Yeni aboard Qhawe Lami.
These are the two jockeys at the top of the current log, with both of them chasing the Champion Jockey title this season.
Janse van Vuuren-trained Cosmic Star is also certain to have his supporters but although he has been placed over 1000m he has yet to win over the trip and is undoubtedly better over 1200m.
However, he is likely to be closing the gap at the end.
Craig Zackey takes the ride.