JACK MILNER: GLITTER STAR has clearly been showing quite a bit at home and has started favourite in his last four starts.
The Lucky Houdalakis-trained gelding has been lightly raced and has only been seen on the track on six occasions. He won on debut at odds of 12-1 and did not find much support in his second start either. He still managed to run a 0.50-length second behind Ace Of Hearts.
After that the money started to come but the three-year-old Muhtafal gelding failed to kick on when the chips were down. Two runs back, he was raced in blinkers for the first time and that seemed to make all the difference. He raced over 1600m at the Vaal and kept on late to run a 1.50-length second to Beau Bois.
Houdalakis gave Glitter Star a two-month break and brought him back to contest a MR 76 Handicap over 1400m on the Vaal turf and this time there were no mistakes. With Marthinus Mienie aboard, Glitter Star took the lead going into the final 200m and kept on well to beat War Front by two lengths.
He takes a jump in class on Thursday in a MR 90 Handicap over 1400m on the Vaal turf but will run off a handy weight of 56kg, 4kg less than he carried last time. Mienie has retained the ride.
Where’s My Chop has always given the impression he should be well suited to 1400m. Over 1200m he puts in a strong finish only for the line to come a stride or two too early.
However, while St John Gray’s charge has won over this trip, he has also run unplaced in his three other races over the distance. He has also had one run over 1450m on the Turffontein inside track, when finishing unplaced. On history, therefore, it appears Where’s My Chop is a little better over 1200m.
However, while he is the ride of title-chasing jockey Gavin Lerena, the question is whether he is aboard the better of Gray’s two runners. Glorious Jet raced in a MR 95 Handicap over this course and distance on the same day as Glitter Star won his race.
While Houdalakis’ runner won in a time of 82.53 sec, Glorious Jet finished a 5.50-length fifth behind Extra Cover. That race was timed at 81.21 sec and, based on the Computaform adjusted time per metre, Glorious Jet covered the distance faster than Glitter Star. What cannot be determined is how much Glitter Star still had in hand as he was not hard pressed to win.
The three-year-old Jet Master gelding takes a drop in class but carries 2.5kg more this time. However, he does have the services of Piere Strydom who was aboard last time.
Ryan’s A Lion won a decent race last time but on a line of form through War Front, he is held by Glitter Star. Erico Verdonese’s charge will be turning eight at the end of the month but the Jallad gelding has been a stable stalwart, winning nine times and placing in another 22 races. Deon Sampson rides.
Jet Dot Com is stablemate to Glitter Star and while the full brother to JJ The Jet Plane has not exactly kept the family flag flying high, he has managed to eke out seven wins in moderate company. He has mixed form with Ryan’s A Lion, holding him on a run in May but held by him on Jet Dot Com’s penultimate start. He finished ahead of Glorious Jet when the pair raced behind Extra Cover and on his day, he could have a say in the outcome.