It is the right month for Raven Black

Crawford set for a double on Vaal Classic track.


A quick glance at the form of Raven Black would perhaps make one wonder if he only is at his best for two months of the year – June and October.

This Master Of My Fate gelding has only raced four times, his first coming in June last year, his second on October 2022, his third in June 2023 and his latest in October 2023.

None of them was bad. He finished second to Magic Tattoo on debut over 1100m, ran a 3.20-length sixth behind Just Eminent over 1450m but may have found the distance a touch far, and then came away with two successive victories, both over 1200m.

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This paucity of race experience might indicate this runner from the Brett Crawford yard, trained in Joburg by assistant James Crawford, has his issues. The fact he bled after his first start probably gives the game away but despite that, there is no questioning his ability.

His first win came following an eight-month hiatus, during which he was also gelded, against a rather mediocre field. The handicapper wasn’t overly impressed and rated him 76.

Last time out, however, Raven Black produced a jaw-dropping performance. The lowestrated runner in a Graduation Plate, where the average rating of the 10 carded runners was 88, Raven Black screamed in by 5.30-lengths despite being well out at the weights.

Tomorrow Raven Black makes his handicap debut in Race 6, a MR 95 Handicap over 1200m on the Vaal Classic track.

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Again, he will be the lowest rated runner in the field, and with just 53.5kg on his back, a hat-trick victory is on the cards. Regular rider Kabelo Matsunyane is in the saddle again.

And most importantly, we are still in October!

Earlier, in Race 2, Matsunyane will be aboard the Crawford- trained maiden Weather Wizard over 1600m.

This Rafeef-gelding made a very pleasing debut and was the fastest finisher over 1450m, beaten just 1.25-lengths.

Over further, and perhaps starting his final assault a tad sooner, he looks hard to oppose.

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