Captain Tatters has been installed 28-10 favourite to give Justin Snaith his fifth Sophomore Sprint win – and Richard Fourie his second – at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The early betting suggests that the Somerset runner-up has most to fear from Brett Crawford’s Langerman third Finding Camelot who is 3-1 second favourite while this colt’s stable companion King Of Gems and the Candice Bass-Robinson trained comfortable maiden winner Constable are both 5-1 chances.
Three Two Charlie and the Vaughan Marshall runner Ground Control (who was reported to have choked up when a disappointing favourite last time) are on 6-1 with the remaining four runners well into double figures. Snaith also has the favourite in four of the other seven races.
Muzi Yeni, who drew a blank at Kenilworth yesterday, is 17-10 favourite to go one better in the jockeys’ championship after finishing second to Lyle Hewitson in the past two seasons – beaten by 34 winners in 2017/18 but by only four last term.
Fourie is second favourite at 22-10 with Warren Kennedy and the 2014/15 champion Gavin Lerena both on 9-2. Anton Marcus, who gained the first of his four championships at the turn of the century, is on 15-2 with the in-form Greg Cheyne (four winners at Fairview on Monday) a 15-1 shot.
Current champion Sean Tarry disputes 15-10 favouritism with Mike de Kock for the trainers’ title. De Kock was champion eight times between 1998/99 and 2012/13 while Tarry is bidding for title number five after topping the log in four of the last five seasons. Snaith, twice champion, is 4-1 third favourite.
The well bred Black Knap was the star of the show at Kenilworth yesterday, winning the 1 800m maiden by a staggering 9 ¼ lengths. He started favourite at 12-10 on the strength of his promising first run and M.J. Byleveld sent him clear a furlong and a half from home. From that point on he went further and further away and his rider, looking back shortly before the line, was left wishing he had brought his binoculars.
Byleveld said: “My biggest problem was stopping him when we went down to the start. First time out he only got going late and had it been a mile I think he would probably have won that day. This was a fantastic win and I don’t think he is going to stop here.”
Vaughan Marshall added: “Black Knap is following in the footsteps of his brother Tap O’Noth (2017 Cape Guineas) and he has done everything we have asked of him. He is backward, green and still has a lot to learn but he was very impressive and I think Alec and Gillian Foster have got something on their hands here. I am sure there is more to come.”
By Michael Clower