South Africa Racing – Karangetang set to erupt again

Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren (Credits to Gold Circle)
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Clive Robinson

Two races of particular interest will be contested over the Turffontein Inside course on Thursday 29 September.

The first is Race 5, a Graduation Plate over 1000m where Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Karangetang faces six challengers.

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He made his debut in listed company and ran out 2.5-length winner after being backed from 14-1 down to 6-1. This son of Erupt followed up with victory in the Grade 3 Protea Stakes, going off at 7-10, beating River Querares, who has subsequently contested two Grade 1 races.

Karangetang’s next two runs, however, were disappointing, to put it mildly, and he was then gelded.

On Thursday he returns to the track after the cut and having been given 117 days to recuperate.

In-form jockey Keagan de Melo has been aboard Karangetang in all four his starts and he retains the ride, to continue his relationship with Van Vuuren’s charge.

Take note that the term ‘in-form’ is not used lightly here. At the time of writing, De Melo is the leading jockey this season with 44 winners from 188 rides at a win-rate of 23,4 percent – the highest of the top 15 jockeys in the championship standings.

Since all four his first runs were as a juvenile, this is the first time he will step into the starting stalls with an official merit rating, and that stands at a staggering 109.

The next race of interest on the eight-race card is the penultimate contest, an FM90 Handicap over 2000m.

This is expected to be a hard-fought contest, but Terra Time gets the nod after her impressive victory over the same course last time out.

Trained by Lucky Houdalakis, this daughter of Time Thief answered every question asked by jockey Craig Zackey when recording her second career win and she looks ready to repeat with the same jockey back in the saddle.

Six-time winner Opera Glass, with the legendary Piere Strydom in the saddle, could upset despite carrying top-weight of 62,5kg.

The five-year-old finished just 1.8-lengths behind Triple Tiara-winner Rain In Holland back in April over the same distance.

Dropping down in class, and with ‘Striker’ in the saddle, she is the value bet on the day.