JACK Milner of Racing Express fancies Mike de Kock-trained Ibsaar to win at Turffontein on Saturday and writes: The final local race meeting of the year takes place on the inside track at Turffontein on Saturday and any punter who can read the card right is almost certain to walk away with a copious profit.
A perfect example of the card’s difficulty comes in Race 5, a Pinnacle Stakes over 3000m. In races like this one tends to look at the best-weighted runners and more often than not that reasoning stands one in good stead. However, that might not be the case this time.
The top spot goes to six-year-old mare Reconcile, who will be having her second start for trainer Sean Tarry. At the handicap she is at least 3kg better off with any other runner in the line-up, but her recent form is abysmal.
This will be her third start after a layoff, and she is better over this sort of distance, but she has shown little in her last two outings. Her previous start saw her finish 18 lengths behind Igugu in the Ipi Tombe Stakes, although she was cut into.
At the other end of the scale is Mike de Kock-trained Ibsaar. This three-year-old colt is the worst-handicapped runner and should be getting anywhere between 4.5kg and 17kg from his rivals. Nevertheless, he could be one of the best bets on the card.
Anthony Delpech is carded to ride the Australian-bred son of Keep The Faith and one gets the impression this horse is crying out for this sort of distance. He won his second start over 1950m at Scottsville and followed up with two successive fifth placings over 1800m and 2000m.
In his most recent outing De Kock put him over 2600m at this track and he ran on well to finish 1.25 lengths behind stablemate Atyeb. Ibsaar spread his right front shoe during the race which makes his effort even more notable. He is undoubtedly the runner with the most scope for improvement and gives the impression that this extra 400m is exactly what he is looking for.
On paper Dancing Red has his beating because he is 9.5kg better off for a one-length beating, but the six-year-old has limitations and is not guaranteed to see out the 3000m.
The main threat could come from Ibsaar’s stablemate Dunraven. This son of Right Approach won his only start at this track over 2200m and followed up with a seven-length fourth to Ilsanpietro in the Listed Java Handicap over 2450m on the standside course.
He dumped his rider at the start of the Grade 3 Racing Association Handicap over 3200m but then flew late to run a four-length fourth behind Masai Warrior over 2000m. He is better suited to this sort of trip and will have the services of Derreck David.
Photo: Ibsaar wins his Maiden at Scottsville in September.