1st Race (0-25)
A nice looking duel to start the meeting, featuring HALABALOO and Alberts Day, who won last week. The former produced a genuine showing in his seasonal debut by finishing 2nd, before completing the quartet in his follow up over a shorter trip. The latter justified his status as favourite when he won the opening race last week. His trainer’s decision to enter him again must be respected, but slight preference is for the first-named horse, who will appreciate running over this 1650 metre trip. Rasta Rebel has not shown much in his early days in Mauritius. He is in vastly improved shape though and he should make his presence felt here. For the lower placings, Battle Ready and Noordhoek Ice are good contenders.
Top Tip: HALABALOO
Watch Out: Alberts Day, Rasta Rebel, Battle Ready
2nd Race (B.31)
VAN DER SCALER scored a pillar to post in his seasonal debut. He is still in good shape and having been drawn in the ace once again, he is taken to confirm. Masaar was only 1.7 lengths behind Blue Jeans in his second start here. He has continued to progress and can give the favourite something to think about. Power Dive was set to run in the 7th meeting, before it was abandoned. He has winning form in this Benchmark and should make the frame in this. Declarator is in better shape after his debut, and should finish in the money, while Rebel Alliance has been well-prepared for his debut and must be watched closely.
Top Tip: VAN DER SCALER
Watch Out: Masaar, Power Dive, Declarator
3rd Race (B.41)
The horse that comes into this race bang on form is Criss Cross Man, who won his last three races. The fact he is again up a Benchmark should not be a problem for him, and he has every chance of striking once again. Imperial Dancer showed up well in his debut, landing 4th place. He seems to have come out well from that run, as he was in good form at track work. The blinkers come off this time and he can produce a competitive showing in this. GREATFIVEEIGHT scored a pillar to post on his debut in the 5th meeting. This Four-Year old has benefited from that run and as he will appreciate tackling the additional 100 metres, he can confirm. Al Dangeur produced a solid account in his own debut, landing 4th place. He has continued to progress and should be thereabouts in this. Elysian Park – who is trained by Jean-Michel Henry – is a promising newcomer. He has worked well and is capable of striking here.
Top Tip: GREATFIVEEIGHT
Watch Out: Criss Cross Man, Al Dangeur, Elysian Park
4th Race (B.46)
After finishing a strong 3rd on Duchess Of York Cup day, Black Tractor ran a cracker in his follow up, opening his Mauritian account in the process. Still in top order, he hails from an in-form stable and with Raymond Danielson on board, he can double the score. Pierneef was on the wrong side of a photo-finish involving himself and Seven Fountains last time out. He is down a benchmark this time round and with a strong pace expected, he can end his winless drought once and for all. Navistar was a good-looking 3rd in his return to competition. His chances in this contest look rock-solid. SILVER SNAFFLES came close to glory in the opening classic of the season, before running into major misfortune in his recent outing. He showed complete satisfaction in his workouts and a big run is forthcoming from him. Dawn Raid was a beaten favourite in his previous start. In good shape and form, it won’t be a surprise if he renews with success.
Top Tip: SILVER SNAFFLES
Watch Out: Pierneef, Black Tractor, Dawn Raid
5th Race (B.56)
Under-par in his debut, Tabreek ran on improvement in his last start. He might have only been 5th, but he was only 2.2 lengths behind Alpha Pegasi. This Gilbert Rousset-trained gelding showed up well at track work and if he can replicate this in the real thing, he can make it. Jolie Roger has come out well from his last run and as he is in better condition, he should be competitive. Oomph is new to Jean-Michel Henry stable, having arrived with an eye-catching C.V, which includes three wins in his first three races. He showed potential in his trials and warrants respect with Cedric Segeon riding him. MALAK EL MOOLOOK produced an eye-catching performance in his Mauritian bow in the 4th meeting. He is highly thought of by his connections, who are expecting an even bigger showing this time round. Jiggery Pokery and New Hampshire – who is down a Benchmark compared to his debut – are two interesting outsiders.
Top Tip: MALAK EL MOOLOOK
Watch Out: Jolie Roger, Oomph, Tabreek
6th Race – The Racing Association Mauritius Derby Trial Cup (Group 3)
Preference is for PRINCE OF THIEVES in this Group 3 contest. He was not very far behind the winner in the Noble Salute Cup. He is in top order and his yard is confident in his chances. Stable mate Executive Power is a promising newcomer. He has shown bags of ability at track work and merits the greatest of respect. Hard Day’s Night deserves another chance here, after running into major misfortune in the Duchess Of York Cup. He looked in good nick in his workouts and is capable of rebounding with Rye Joorawon on board. Speed Limit puts his unbeaten record on the line in this. It won’t be a surprise to see him extend it, having impressed on the training track. The trio of Ernie, Ole Gunnar and Memphis Mafia have not been entered for nothing, and are all capable of having a say here.
Top Tip: PRINCE OF THIEVES
Watch Out: Hard Day’s Night, Executive Power, Speed Limit
7th Race (B.66)
The second 1650 metre contest of the day sees Solar Star making his Mauritian entrance. This pure stayer is the highest-rated arrival at Rameshwar Gujadhur’s yard this season, and he has not taken long to adapt to his new surroundings. He can start his new career on a winning note. Olympic Bolt may have flopped on his debut, but there was no stopping him last time round. He remains in good order and as his yard and jockey can do no wrong at the moment, he has a good chance of confirming. Karraar was a star performer in 2016, winning six races on the bounce, rising into the elite. He has fully recovered from the issues that has delayed his return to competition, and is not prevented from striking on his seasonal debut. DISCO AL did not disgrace himself in the opening classic of the season. He has benefited from that run and is in even better shape and form. The step up in trip is largely in his favour and having been handed a plum draw, he he should produce a bold account of himself. Stable mate Bulsara was a courageous 4th in his return to competition, setting the best chrono over the final 600 metres. Chosen by Steven Arnold, he should have a big say in this. Rap Attack and Open Heir are in good form and warrant consideration.
Top Tip: DISCO AL
Watch Out: Bulsara, Karraar, Solar Star
8th Race (B.36)
A wide open contest here, with many horses all in with a chance of taking victory. Accountability is one of them and he has done nothing wrong since arriving on our shores. In four starts, he has made the podium in all but one. Narrowly beaten last time out, he has a good chance of going one better. Burwaaz justified his status as favourite in his recent showing, scoring his first win here. This Simon Jones-trained gelding has good form in this category and he can double the score. Seven Oceans produced an eye-catching performance in the 3rd meeting. Having worked well, he represents an in-form yard and the vote goes in his direction. IT DOESN’T MATTER has benefited from his good-looking debut, and his trainer Chitranjan Ramdin is expecting an even better showing this time round, particularly as he has been drawn in the ace. Mount Fuji managed to go one better in his latest. He is climbing up a Benchmark, but he is not prevented from making his presence felt once again. Last time winner After Midnight and Avail are rated as solid place contenders.
Top Tip: IT DOESN’T MATTER
Watch Out: Accountability, Burwaaz, Seven Oceans
9th Race (B.31)
Chap Trap managed to break the ice at the third time of asking in his last start. This Three-Year old looked his usual self in his workouts and there is the sense that he can progress even further. However, preference is for VARATIONAL, who has come out very well from his solid-looking debut. He showed satisfaction in his workouts and with the in-form Raymond Danielson riding him, he can mount a bold bid. Kentucky Bluegrass is in improved condition compared to last time and he can make the frame, while Anton Ruskin and Captain’s Cronicle are two decent outsiders.
Top Tip: VARATIONAL
Watch Out: Chap Trap, Kentucky Bluegrass, Anton Ruskin