Reunion sees the light

Reunion sees the light


Jack Milner: Despite all the problems facing racing around the world in the last 16 months, some role players have managed to rise above the turmoil.

One of those is trainer Paul Peter who has had a record season. When Belle Of Belize won at the Vaal on Tuesday, it was the yard’s 150th victory of the season. With around 10 days still to go, that tally will be extended. It is just a case of by how many.

Peter has five runners at the Vaal on Thursday, when they race on the Classic track. Best of these looks to be Reunion, who finally came back to form with an impressive 5.30-length victory over The Kop last time.

When this son of Flower Alley won his maiden on debut by 10.25 lengths, a form line that went on to produce three winners from eight runners, the world was his oyster. Talk of the Triple Crown, Durban July and overseas campaigns were being bandied about.

That all came crashing down in his next start when, going off a 7-20 favourite, he faded out to run a 3.50-length fourth behind Have A Go Jo.     

There appeared to be two problems. One was behavioural, and the second was that he apparently had testicles the size of bowling balls. Gelding cured the latter, and it was hopeful it would also cure his bad behaviour – but that took a lot longer.

Reunion wanted to tearaway from the off and Peter had to work hard to teach him to settle, and then run on.

That took a while but in his penultimate start the three-year-old son of Flower Alley finally seemed to get the gist of what he had to do, even though he went down by a neck to Tend Master.

But last time out it all came together. Reunion settled, and then ran on from off the pace to score that facile victory, despite shifting in with around 250m to run.

He also appears to have built up a good relationship with jockey Gavin Lerena, who will be back on board in Race 5, a Middle Stakes over 1800m on Thursday.

Reunion is not the best weighted runner, but he still could be a lot better than his rating and he stands out as the banker in all bets.

Peter has two runners in Race 7 – a MR 76 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1600m – both of whom have winning chances.

Beyond The Runway has only raced twice for a win and a close-up third, and could be up to the task, while Let There Be Light has had more experience, and has clearly run in stronger fields.           

The latter has been racing in fields where average merit rating of the runners has been between 78 and 86.

In this race the average merit rating is 70. However, Peter has opted to give apprentice Philasande Mxoli the ride and his 2.5kg apprentice claim means Let There Be Light will only carry 57.5kg.

That could just give her the edge over Beyond The Runway and Ancestral Prayer.


Jack Milner’s selections

Race 1: 12 Safe Passage, 7 King Arthur, 13 This Generation, 14 High Flyby

Race 2: 9 Wisteria Avenue, 7 Twenty Four Kay, 4 Maboneng, 3 Gilda Gray

Race 3: 6 La Luvia, 5 Bold Fortune, 1 Nartjie, 2 Foreign Field

Race 4: 3 Signals, 4 Arizona Lady, 2 Parker Getrix, 8 Mount Athos

Race 5: 1 Reunion, 8 Lady Amherst, 9 Jive Express, 5 Zeal And Zest

Race 6: 1 Southern Song, 2 Dynastic Light, 5 Rock You, 3 Pin Up

Race 7: 3 Let There Be Light, 2 Ancestral Prayer, 1 Beyond The Runway, 10 Kind Judy

Race 8: 3 Oyster King, 1 Nordic Rebel, 2 Dark Tide, 9 Tillieangus



Race 5 No 1 Reunion


Race 7 No 3 Let There Be Light


Race 3 5×6




Leg 1: 7, 12, 13

Leg 2: 4, 7, 9

Leg 3: 5, 6

Leg 4: 2, 3, 4

Leg 5: 1

Leg 6: 1




Leg 1: 4, 7, 9

Leg 2: 5, 6

Leg 3: 2, 3, 4

Leg 4: 1

Leg 5: 1

Leg 6: 1, 2, 3

Leg 7: 1, 2, 3




Leg 1: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6

Leg 2: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

Leg 3: 1

Leg 4: 1

Leg 5: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11

Leg 6: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10




Leg 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

Leg 2: 1

Leg 3: 1

Leg 4: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11


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