Silver Sanctuary stands out as banker with JP van der Merwe
Crawford set for a double on Vaal Classic track.
Two days of rain put paid to Tuesday’s race meeting at Turffontein but if the weather experts have their predictions proved correct, the clouds should move away, and no rain is being forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.
That indicates it should be all systems go for Thursday’s meeting on the Inside track at Turffontein. However, although Turffontein has decent drainage the going is likely to be on the soft side so bettors will need to take that into account.
The card does look quite competitive but one runner that does stand out is Mike de Kock-trained Silver Sanctuary who lines up in Race 6, a MR 88 Handicap for fillies and mares over 2000m. This three-year-old filly, who is a full sister to Safe Passage, has only raced four times for two wins and an extremely unlucky second place last time out.
She lined up in a MR 96 Handicap over 1700m on the Inside track for three-year-olds where she took on the colts and had to concede weight to all but Emporium. She opened joint favourite with Eiffel Tower but drifted to 7-1 by the off and did not do her chances much good by jumping slowly. House Of Romanov, to whom she was conceding 2kg, looked home and hosed with 200m to race with Silver Sanctuary sitting one from last.
But the filly took off and unfortunately for her backers the line came a stride too soon and she failed by a head to catch Tony Peter’s charge. It is also worth noting there was 3.10 lengths back to third-placed Eiffel Tower.
This time she returns to racing against her own sex, takes a drop in class and tries 2000m for the first time. The distance should not be a problem for her, after all, Safe Passage has a Grade 1 victory over the distance, and in all likelihood it should enhance her chances.
JP van der Merwe has ridden her in all of her starts and he will be back in the irons on Thursday. There is only one other three-year-old in the field and that is Damostar, trained by Tyrone Zackey. She had been campaigning mainly in sprints in her first six races, but after a couple of failures Zackey opted to try her over 1800m and added a compression hood.
That made a remarkable difference, and she belied her starting price of 66-1 by flying past Lady Calavera to win going away by 0.75 lengths. While the result might have been a shock owing to her form, the fact she stayed on well over distance should not have been as she is a daughter of Flower Alley and is out of a Silvano mare.
However, the strength of that field was not all that great, and she will take a rise in class running in this event. While she does carry bottom weight of 52kg based on her merit rating she is 1kg under sufferance. Kaidan Brewer gets the ride this time and Damostar looks the runner to chase home Silver Sanctuary.