Danie Torien: It’s quite amazing how rejuvenating and invigorating a holiday can be. To relax, unwind and recharge one’s batteries very often does wonders, and that seems to be the case with Tuscan Winter.
Trained by Johan Janse van Vuuren, this What A Winter gelding entered the racing fray in May last year, exiting the maiden ranks at the second time of asking.
He followed up with four consecutive top-four finishes, but then seemed to slightly lose the plot.
He was given a three and a half month holiday, which obviously did the trick, as he bounced right back to form with a victory.
He will be in action again today in Race 6, a Class B MR96 Handicap over 1160 down the Turffontein straight.
The four-year-old showed a tremendous turn of foot last time out. He was covering the rear all the way to the 400m marker, 8 lengths adrift of the leader, when suddenly he kicked and flashed up to beat Homely Girl by 1.5-lengths. To put this victory in perspective, it is important to note that Homely Girl ran third in the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas. She also ran second in the Listed Syringa Handicap on Sunday at Turffontein.
Gavin Lerena has been charged with the ride and this bodes very well for the gelding as he has never finished outside the money when partnering with Lerena.
The biggest threat should come from the Paul Peter trained Val D’Orcia.
By Vercingetorix, this gelding has scored four wins in his short career spanning nine runs.
His last outing is best ignored as he was perhaps a bit out of his depth in a field where the average merit rating of the contestants was 113.
Dropping down in class he will make his presence felt, especially with 4kg claiming apprentice Siyanda Sosibo in the irons.
Danie Toerien’s selections:
Race 1: 2 Not Your Call, 4 Gone In Time, 6 Giancarlo, 9 Swing Upon A Star.
Race 2: 8 National Star, 1 Climate Control, 5 Ships At Sea, 7 Wonderworld
Race 3: 6 Trentino, 7 Tried And True, 2 Lady Greensleeves, 4 Skyfull,
Race 4: 2 Nazdarovya, 3 Mayenne, 5 Coldhardstare, 6 Dame Twining
Race 5: 3 Rollwiththepunches, 5 Another Thief, 6 Moya Wa Laliga, 1 Super Agra
Race 6: 9 Tuscan Winter, 1 Val D’Orcia, 10 Twice As Splendid, 5 Captain Morisco
Race 7: 1 About To Storm, 7 Captain Of Grit, 9 Catchthegreenlight, 2 Alingalonga
Race 8: 2 Imposing Angel, 3 Double Magic, 4 Jet Cat, 9 Grecia