JACK MILNER: THERE will be some massive pools for bettors to share this weekend. Topping the list are two Pick 6 carryovers – one at Turffontein on Saturday and the second at Greyville on Sunday.
There will be R500,000 boosting the Turffontein Pick 6 with an estimated pool of R2.7 million. Another R255,970 will go to Sunday’s Greyville Pick 6 and the estimated pool there is R2 million. Both cards look tricky and there is sure to be a big payday for any punter who can find the right combination at either meeting.
Jockey Piere Strydom could give punters one banker on the Turffontein card when he rides Al Rashid in Race 5, a Maiden Plate over 1800m on the inside track. Trainer Weiho Marwing’s runner must have been one of the most unlucky horses around when he went down a neck to Run For Wally over 2000m at Greyville earlier this month.
He gave jockey Robbie Fradd a torrid time from the opening bell right up to the winning post. The three-year-old gelding lost ground at the start, raced wide around the turn, moved up in the straight as if he would sweep past the leaders but then started to hang in badly. He may well have lost the race in the boardroom had his number gone up in the frame in any case.
Strydom has the task this time of keeping Al Rashid on the straight and narrow. It is not an enviable job but somebody has to do it and very few jockeys are as adept with “naughty’’ horses as “Striker’’. The opposition is not particularly strong and the son of Black Minnaloushe should be able to shed his maiden tag. Bookmakers seem to agree and have priced up Al Rashid at 9-10.
The opening leg of the Pick 6 is a Pinnacle Stakes over 2600m and Salutation is the highest rated runner. However, although her merit rating has come down quite a lot, the drop is not significant enough and based on recent form, the handicapper probably needs to show a little more sympathy.
On the other hand Ice Trigger is not well weighted based on merit ratings but Mike de Kock’s three-year-old is improving with every start and looks ready to notch up his second career victory.
His last two starts have been most encouraging. In his penultimate run the son of Western Winter chased home Princess Of Light, also in a Pinnacle Stakes, over this track and trip. Had the race been a handicap he would have been getting around 12kg from Geoff Woodruff’s filly but under the race conditions, only received 3.5kg. As a result, to finish a 3.50-length second was a top-notch effort.
Randall Simons rode him on that occasion and is aboard again.
In his last start Ice Trigger contested a MR 80 Handicap over 2400m at the Vaal and finished a 1.75-length third behind Money Flows, to whom he was conceding 5.5kg. They meet again but with Ice Trigger now 4kg better off, Stephen Moffatt’s runner will battle to confirm the form.
Woodruff sends out Luminous Love with Strydom in the irons and the four-year-old son of Count Dubois will have his supporters. However, he takes a while to get going and might not be ideally suited to this track.
St John Gray saddles five-year-old mare Sea Passage, who has been competitive in open company. She has won over the course and distance but does rise in class. Gray has declared Gavin Lerena for the ride.