South Africa

Get an Ultra Quickstart, then score with Ballon D’Or

  A Monday race meeting at Turffontein is a rare beast – as is a Monday race of such potential excitement as the seventh on the card, a MR94 Handicap over 1450m that is full of possible winners. Trainer Paul Peter’s gelding The Contractor is going for a fourth win in a row but almost […]

A Monday race meeting at Turffontein is a rare beast – as is a Monday race of such potential excitement as the seventh on the card, a MR94 Handicap over 1450m that is full of possible winners.

Trainer Paul Peter’s gelding The Contractor is going for a fourth win in a row but almost any of his seven rivals could deny him.

One of those is Ballon D’Or from the barn of champion trainer Sean Tarry, with the big advantage of a 6.5kg weights pull on The Contractor who must lug 60kg around the turn on the Turfies Inside course.

Another argument in favour of two-time winner Ballon D’or is that he is having his third run after a break. In his first comeback effort, over 1500m on 24 April, he showed plenty of vim, leading for much of the trip before running out of steam the closing stages – understandable after a five-month hiatus.

Next time, over this course and distance, he suffered a mouth injury but still managed a fourth place, less than two lengths behind the useful galloper Royal Wulff.

Stable jock Lyle Hewitson partnered on both those occasions, so will be up to speed on the four-year-old’s state of mind and fitness.

Whether first-time blinkers will help or hinder is an imponderable, but one trusts Tarry to get such a judgement right.

Three other runners – Nordic Rebel, Dark Tide and War Jewel – have favourable weight turnarounds on The Contractor based on collateral form.

In the top-weight’s favour, though, is his obvious fighting spirit, a handy No 4 draw and the attention of champion jockey Warren Kennedy.

An intriguing contest.

The nap bet on the card comes in Race 3, a Maiden Juvenile clash, with Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Ultra Quick at short odds to confirm the promise of his first run on 30 May. That day, his inexperience was patent, though he still managed third, two lengths behind the winner.

He’d have learnt a lot from that  debut and what he didn’t master Gavin Lerena will compensate for from the irons. Nothing else in the race has shown the same potential, so Ultra Quick looks like a banker for all exotics.

Trouble is, the race is early on the programme and if Ultra Quick misfires, we’ll all be blown out ultra-quickly.

SELECTIONS

Race 1:

9 Fugetthetime, 7 Talledega, 6 Woman Of Grace, 1 Fort Commander

Race 2:

12 Run For Isla, 1 Abalus, 8 Hollywoodbound, 10 Putting Green

Race 3:

10 Ultra Quick, 2 Frontline Fighter, 1 Arkaan, 6 Run For The Sun

Race 4:

3 Pick A Lilly, 11 Runaway Princess, 12 Silvery Blue, 7 Chutzpah

Race 5:

8 Twice The Act, 4 Ration My Passion, 2 White Fang, 7 Chevron

Race 6:

6 Laird Of Breedon, 2 Katzenthal, 10 Mount Athos, 8 Enigma Code

Race 7:

8 Ballon D’Or, 4 Dark Tide, 2 Nordic Rebel, 1 The Contractor

Race 8:

9 Double Martini, 7 Back To Black, 1 Tight Five, 13 Whipping Boy

Pick 6:

10 x 3,7,11,12 x 2,4,7,8,9,12 x 2,6,8 x 1,2,4,8 x 1,7,9,11,13 (R1440)

PA:

1,8,12 x 10 x 3,11,12 x 2,4,8 x 2,6 x 2,4,8 x 7,9 (R324)

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