‘Grant’ you can bank on

 Mar 21 2017

Turffontein Inside track stages an eight race meeting on Tuesday and punters will need to tread wearily.

Saturday’s racing proved that this particular course can throw some upset results, although the form of the maiden events stood up well and should do so again.

Made To Conquer has been scratched from the third, a maiden over 1600m, where he looked the proverbial certainty, and this has played into the hands of the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Student Grant. The latter caught the eye running on over 1450m last time and has a good draw over a step up In trip he will enjoy.

It’s A True Story ran well over 1600m last time, but visually he did not make as much of an impression as Student Grant did. Furthermore, Student Grant has It’s A True Story held on paper on a formline through a horse called King Of Mani. On formlines Huhi could be a threat, but he has a wide draw to overcome. Student Grant is thus selected as the best bet on the card and as a Pick 6 banker as no other horses in the field make any appeal.

There should be some value to be had about Cat’s Whiskers in the second race, a MR 68 Handicap over 1200m for fillies and mares. She jumped from the worst draw of all, the number one draw, over 1400 on the Vaal Ouside track last time so did well to finish a 4,3 length fourth to the progressive My Friend Lee. She was thereabouts at the 400m mark before plugging on gamely, so is interesting from a good draw over a step down in trip. Little Swift has pace and the ability to stay on, so will be a big runner here too if able to overcome a tricky draw of seven. Gavin Lerena is up which is an obvious bonus.

The fifth race has a possible Pick 6 banker in Simply Royal, but as it is her first run out the maidens only the brave would go that route. She is beautifully bred being by Silvano out of the Dingaans winner Royal Fantasy (Al Mufti). She looks the part too and on debut, despite breaking through the stalls, she swept through the field from last to win going away by 3,5 lengths over the 1200m at this course.

The concerns are her inexperience and she also over raced on that debut when being reined back, which creates a question mark about the trip. However, once she had cover she relaxed very nicely and on pedigree she should relish the step up in trip.

The topweight Silver Class is interesting in this race as she has been far from disgraced running exclusively in features and plate races this season and she now runs in a handicap off a lowered merit rating. She is also well drawn over an ideal trip. Comme-Ci-Comme-Ca has caught the eye recently in a stronger class and is another one who is interesting back in a handicap over a suitable trip, although her wide draw makes it tough. Samarra’s recent form over this trip is good and the blinkers are off after she disappointed over 1000m last time, so she can’t be ignored from a good draw of two.

Eternal Spring impressed on debut and is worth another chance after her disappointing second start, although that was after a layoff. She does have a tough merit rating though compared to Simply Royal.

- David Thiselton

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