24 May 2016
Jack Milner: There has only been one meeting on the Vaal Classic track and so far the feedback has been quite complimentary. The Classic track is the old sand course which has been converted to turf and it will be used again at Tuesday’s meeting.
Weichong Marwing gave the track a “thumbs up” in an interview after winning a race at the track last Thursday while champion apprentice Callan Murray also praised the track, adding it would improve once the turf had more of a chance to bind. “I found that at the moment horses racing up with the pace had an advantage but I expect that will change as time goes on,” he said.
In his column on Saturday, Piere Strydom said he had walked the course. “I was very impressed by the condition of the turf although that could still change after a couple of race meetings and, of course, the weather could also affect it.”
Strydom will have the opportunity to try it out for himself as he returns to riding on Tuesday after being off for three months following a fall at the Vaal on 11 February. He has taken four rides at this meeting and another four on Thursday as he attempts to ease himself into the rigours of the winter season in KZN.
His best chance of a winner looks to be in Race 4 where he rides Winter Breeze in a Maiden Plate over 1200m for trainer Louis Goosen. Ironically, she is the filly who stumbled just past the winning post and dislodged Strydom, keeping him out of racing for the past three months.
Race 5 is the main event on the card, a MR 92 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m and in this event Tahini will be looking to win her third successive start. After beating Rock On in her second visit to the racetrack Tahini ran moderately in her next three starts and looked quite average. Even when she finally notched up her second win, beating Finding Alice by 0.60 lengths, it did not strike one as a particularly inspiring victory but he last victory was most impressive.
Jockey S’manga Khumalo had her well positioned in a FM 88 event over 1450m on the Turffontein Inside track and she accelerated past her opposition to beat Silver Class, herself no slouch, by 1.80 lengths.