South Africa

Top talent in action ahead of Triple Crown and Tiara races

Habib horse racing

We are less than three weeks away from the start of this year’s World Sports Betting Triple Crown and the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara and many of the contenders are beginning to warm up for the challenge.

As a result, there is an appetising card on the Vaal Classic track tomorrow. Best on the day has to be Race 4, a Graduation Plate over 1600m. A number of up-and-coming runners take their places and this race alone looks to be a real humdinger.

Looking ahead to the Triple Crown, four pertinent runners with big reputations line up in this event – Taegan’s Champ, Guy Gibson and Storm Brasco.

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Guy Gibson is unquestionably the runner with the most exposed form. The son of Lancaster Bomber showed from his first outing as a two-year-old that he had some ability having been placed 3rd in both the Grade 1 Gold Medallion over 1200m behind Lucky Lad and the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe behind Sandringham Summit but has taken a while to really mature.

We saw a glimpse of that development in his last start when tried in blinkers for the first time, he kept on resolutely to beat Hawkbill by 1.50 lengths in a Graduation Plate over 1700m.

As a result, Roy Magner’s charge, who teams up with S’manga Khumalo for the first time, gets the nod for this race.

With regards to the other two, to use a much-used racing expression, they could be anything.

Taegan’s Champ has won both of his starts very impressively and that is despite doing everything wrong.

This son of Gimmethegreenlight is highly regarded by trainer Fabian Habib and must be respected.

Both his runs have been over 1400m so he tries further, although on breeding that should not be an issue, especially since in both his starts he has produced the fastest final 400m.

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But he does take quite a leap in class and will be tested this time, so we will know a lot more about Taegan’s Champ after this race.

Calvin Habib takes the ride for the first time.

Storm Brasco is very much in the same boat. Sean Tarry’s charge has raced three times, finishing unplaced on debut, third in his second start and then a runaway 7.75-length winner of his next outing over 1600m in the wet.

Runner-up La Moohal did frank that form when winning next time out so one cannot ignore that performance, but he too is taking a massive jump in class so perhaps it would be wise to reserve judgement on the son of Pathfork until after this race.

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Mike de Kock has two runners of interest, both of whom are the best weighted horses. East Coast has not been at his best for a while, but he has been running against the best around and takes a huge drop in class.

Three-year-old filly My Soul Mate found stablemate Gimme A Nother far too good in her last two starts but could be a contender in a race of this nature