The Paul Peter-Warren Kennedy team looks likely to dominate Thursday’s Vaal Classic meeting. The trainer and jockey team up with five horses, and they’re all at the top of the ante-post betting boards.
A few visits to the winner’s circle can kick off in Race 4, a 1000m Maiden Plate, the only starting gate on the classic course not to be turned. Maradiva is entering his second race after being neutered and should improve to sixth place he managed shortly after taking the most unfriendly cut.
He had posted a few seconds before the surgery and it looked like his first win was not far off. Something like these efforts, without the burden of pendants, should let Maradiva prevail.
Race 5 is another 1000m sprint, but this time an MR96 affair with quite superior sprinters. One is Mufasa, who still has his family jewels, thanks to two wins and a number of places. Indeed, he has never been without money for Peter and the owners, the Werners, so no call for the knife for the time being. Kennedy has also benefited from Mufasa’s exemplary behavior and should do so again.
Imposing Angel in Race 7, a MR66 Handicap over 1000m, is a filly, so Damocles’ scalpel isn’t hovering over her. She too has a string of wins to her name and should post another one here.
The four-year-old Naval Guard lost his goolies during a long break from racing last year and showed the benefits by bouncing back with an impressive first win on New Years Day. The follow-up, a fortnight later, saw him a little dope and sluggish at first, but got his head together to run well into fourth.
On Thursday he will cover a similar distance in Race 9 and will be the horse to beat on his third stage after the break and the snip.
1: 2 Count Pablo, 9 Lady Osier, 1 Forgotten Time, 6 Ra’ed
2: 2 East Coast, 6 Vasilikos, 3 Elijah Blue, 5 Viewpoint
3:1 Fashionigma, 5 Toto’s Dream, 4 Mix The Magic, 6 Oceans Pride
4:1 Maradiva, 6 Black Burner, 3 Fulliautomatix, 7 Final Decision
5: 2 Mufasa, 4 Seemyvision, 6 Irfaans Boy, 3 Retallick
6: 5 Esquevelle, 4 Frontline Fighter, 7 Droghierre, 6 On Cue
7: 1 Imposing Angel, 2 Money Fighter, 6 Hear The Trumpet, 11 Allez Les Bleu
8: 3 Wrap Speckle, 5 Queen Bomi, 2 Speechmaker, 7 Duchessburnadette
9: 8 Naval Guard, 7 Dark Travel, 5 Ice Man Cometh, 2 Funky Music
Choose 6: 1,3,6 x 2,3,4,6 x 4.5.7 x 1,2,6,7,10.11 x 2.3.5 x 5.7,8 (R1944)
FATHER: 1.5 x 1 x 2.4 x 4.5 x 1,2.6 x 3.5 x 8 (R48)