Vaughan Marshall won the Sun Met six years ago with Hill Fifty Four and there are a number of similarities between that horse and the yard’s contender this year, One World.
Marshall said about One World, “I am very happy with him, he is very well, and all we need now is a bit of luck.”
The first similarity with Hill Fifty Four is that he is by Captain Al, although he is a four-year-old colt whereas Hill Fifty Four was a five-year-old gelding.
The second similarity is that their respective damsires impart stamina. Hill Fifty Four was out of a Sportsworld mare, while One World is out of a Giant’s Causeway mare.
Marshall said, “There must be a slight stamina doubt but he was running on well in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and we will take our chances,”
In One World’s only attempt beyond a mile he finished a 2,25 length second to Vardy in the Grade 3 Winter Classic over 1800m at Kenilworth.
One World’s British-bred dam Aquilonia only raced five times but the distance range was from one-mile-and-two-furlongs to one-mile-and-four-furlongs, suggesting her trainer Roger Charlton believed she was a stayer. A fourth place finish over one- mile-and-two-furlongs at Salisbury was her best effort. In the breeding shed she has produced a horse by Count Dubois called Counterstroke who won over 1800m, although he and his full sister Count To Ten, who was stakes placed over a mile, generally looked to be most comfortable from 1400m to a mile. On the other hand Count To Ten’s first foal, Blow Your Cool, has placed three times in five starts and her placed distance range is 1800m to 2000m despite being by the speedster Warm White Night.
The next similarity with Hill Fifty Four is that One World is drawn wide.
He is drawn in barrier 12 out of the 13 remaining runners, while Hill Fifty Four’s Met win came from a draw of 15 out of 18.
Hill Fifty Four was admittedly given a ride by Anton Marcus which can genuinely be described as brilliant.
Marshall said about One World’s draw, “It should not matter especially as there are now only 13 runners and I definitely think there will be a good pace.”
The race is now weight-for-age (wfa) whereas in Hill Fifty Four’s day it was wfa plus penalties, so the latter only carried 58kg and received 2kg from the Grade 1 winners.
However, One World looks to be a genuine Grade 1 weight for age class horse and on pure formlines should be the second favourite instead of the 10/1 fifth favourite (Track and Ball). He has finished second to Vardy three times in succession, over 1800m and then twice over 1600m, and this pair have had Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge beaten twice and Hawwaam once.
However, the public and the bookmakers are still not convinced. They believe the big guns needed it in the Green Point Stakes and they must believe the delayed start affected the result in the LQP.
Vardy and One World will have to do it a third time to be accepted as the best, such is the aura surrounding the big three.
One World has certainly blossomed this season and conformation-wise this big, strong, rangy horse looks the real deal.
Marshall’s long time stable jockey MJ Byleveld has also blossomed in recent seasons, especially in the field of BMT. He is overdue a win ín one of South Africa big two races, the Vodacom Durban July and the Sun Met, where he has gone close a couple of times, including being first across the line on Wylie Hall in the July of 2014 and a narrow second in the 2013 Met on Hill Fifty Four.
Marshall named his best runner on the day as Cane Lime And Soda in the CTS 1600. He is drawn two and wears first-time blinkers.
He also named Joseph Berry (Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes), Mirage (CTS 1200) and Tap O’ Noth (Grade 2 New Turf Carriers Western Cape Stayers) as competitive runners on the day.
By David Thiselton