ALTHOUGH Chamu Mabaya takes a four-point lead into the second leg of the R50,000 Work Riders Challenge at the Vaal on Tuesday, he could be overtaken by Sam Mosia, who has several attractive rides on the eight-race card.
Mabaya may strike early on Run Girl Wild, who looks sure to start favourite for the first race. Trained by Joe Soma, the daughter of Fort Wood finished a creditable second under Anthony Delpech in a stronger maiden at Turffontein last month.
The pick of Mosia’s rides should be Irish Gift (second race), Schooner (fifth) and Nuggets in the final leg of the jackpot.
Irish Gift, a well-bred son of Elusive Quality, should be cherry-ripe in his third run back following a long break. The five-year-old is trained by Ormond Ferraris and is part-owned by his son, David, who trains in Hong Kong.
A slow start did not help Irish Gift’s cause when he was beaten by Beta on his recent outing at Turffontein, and Mosia will need to be alert to get him away on terms this afternoon.
Only six rivals oppose Irish Gift and the pick of the sextet could be Dominic Zali’s six-year-old, Amatol. The gelding will be ridden by Charles Ndlovu, who goes into today’s second leg some 19 points behind Chamu Mabaya.
Irish Gift is an American-bred gelding and John Vos’s runner, Indian Giant, also hails from the US. The five-year-old won here in November and was fourth behind DG’s Boy on his most recent appearance before Christmas.
Sean Tarry will be disappointed that Pomodoro could only manage fourth place in Saturday’s J&B Met at Kenilworth, but he is sure to fancy his chances of winning today’s fifth race with his four-year-old, Schooner.
This daughter of Captain Al hinted a second win was close at hand when third behind Fanzene here last month and she rates as the one to beat. The horses Mosia will have to look out for are Miss Stingray (Sean Paterson) and trainer Stephen Moffatt’s mare, Legal Account.
Miss Stingray opened her account at Turffontein in December and the second horse home in that race, Burlesque, won recently to frank that form. Legal Account will start at longer odds yet she is worth including in exotic bets as her merit rating has dropped considerably.
Francis Samela goes into today’s contest just four points adrift of Mabaya and will be looking forward to partnering Two Gun Kid for Mike de Kock’s stable in the sixth race. While the gelding is proving costly to follow, today’s opposition looks moderate and he should defy top weight of 60kg.
Mosia’s mount, Black And White, has an each-way shout here if the grey can get away on terms. Two others with place prospects are Mojav and Lance Wiid’s four-year-old, Any Flag.
Jackson Feni is a former winner of the Work Riders Series and he partners Strongmind for trainer Paul Peter in the seventh race. This son of Stronghold is on the upgrade and certainly rates a banker in the place accumulator.
All of Nuggets, Sebastian Bolt and Oh Driscoll will have their supporters, with Ask Me possibly the "joker in the pack".