He was one of the best three-year-olds last season and placed in all three legs of the SA Triple Crown at Turffontein. This son of Dynasty has only had two runs as a four-year-old and the first of these was in an Assessment Plate over 1600m on the Turffontein Inside track which he won with ease.
That came as no surprise as he was weighted to win but the performance of second-placed Orpheus stood out as he was not well handicapped at all. So, going down by 1.25 lengths was an outstanding effort.
He was carded to run a couple of weeks back but that meeting at the Vaal was called off. He is now carded to contest Race 6 at Turffontein on Thursday, a MR 90 Handicap over 1600m on the Inside track.
Interestingly, the average merit rating for this event is 83, the same as the race won by Noble Secret, but, as it works out, Orpheus will carry 1kg less than last time. Noble Secret raced off a rating of 106 in that race and there is no runner within 10 points of that rating in this event.
Piere Strydom rode Orpheus on that occasion and he will no doubt be delighted that Mike and Adam Azzie have opted to give him the ride once again.
The main danger looks to be Helios who will be returning from a 108-day layoff. This four-year-old gelding is trained by Sean Tarry and has been lightly raced. A son of Visionaire, he has only run five times for one win and two runner-up berths. He could be in need of the run but has only 52kg on his back and will be ridden by champion jockey Lyle Hewitson.
The Rising Legend is another useful runner who has won three of his seven starts. He ran on powerfully last time in his first run back from an almost three-month rest to finish a neck second behind Come The Day over 2000m at this track and is likely to find 1600m a touch short – but he does have Gavin Lerena in the irons.
There are others with chances, including Shogun, who has won two of his last three races, and top weight Kilrain, who is quite a versatile fellow and has won from 1000m to 2400m - www.tabnews.co.za