African Warrior, winner of both the KZN Yearling Sale Million and the Umkhomazi Stakes, has to give away a minimum of 8kg to the entire opposition in the Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth on Saturday week.
This would suggest that he is unlikely to start his three-year-old campaign here but Dean Kannemeyer, who has yet to win the Sophomore, is away at the moment and so unable to confirm one way or the other.
The Vercingetorix gelding is rated 6kg and more better than the other 11 entries for Cape Town’s first feature of the season with the Brett Crawford-trained Finding Camelot next best on ratings.
Justin Snaith, bidding for his fifth win in this race, has the only filly, Casino Queen, entered but said: “I doubt if she will run because she is not well in but Captain Tatters is a definite runner.”
Vaughan Marshall, successful with Pay Catch in 2004 and with Lord Balmoral two years ago, has yet to make a decision on whether Ground Control runs but Mike Robinson has already booked Anthony Andrews for Call Me Al while Ossie Noach will partner Warrior Tiger for Piet Botha.
Candice Bass-Robinson gave Three Two Charlie an outing in a handicap at Durbanville on Tuesday and he finished third under top weight – “I thought it would bring him on more than another gallop would.”
Billy Prestage, who sprang a 33-1 shock with Moonlight Gambler 11 years ago, could be represented by the speedy Durbanville winner Jean’s Man. Declarations are on Monday
Last week’s article on Charl Pretorius’s Turf Talk website on exports to Mauritius – the only real export market until such time as the EU lifts its current restrictions – has attracted a lot of interest.
Grant Knowles, who with Justin Vermaark of Green Street Bloodstock is probably the biggest player in this particular market, estimates that the Mauritians buy “close to 70 horses a year and of these I sell between 20 and 30. They pay anything from R100 000 to R1.5 million and it costs them around R70 000 to get each horse to Mauritius. This includes the 19 days quarantine in South Africa and 21 days there.” Agents like Knowles earn 5% of the purchase price and the horse’s South African trainer normally gets twice that.
By Michael Clower