Captain Tatters, only a dwindling four-tenths of a length behind Silver Operator in the Cape Classic at Kenilworth 12 days ago, will renew rivalry with the Vaughan Marshall star in the Cape Guineas on December 21.
As he was bought to race in Hong Kong there were fears that the gelding would be put into quarantine now that he has shown he is good enough but Justin Snaith has been given the go-ahead to prepare him for next month’s classic and he is understandably delighted.
He said: “Captain Tatters has to be a big runner. If you watch his races you will see that he has flown home in them and that the line has come just in time for the opposition. He will be suited by the extra 200m and by the summer course.”
Snaith has won the Cape Guineas only once with Solo Traveller nine years ago but he has taken two of the last four runnings of the Woolavington and his Strathdon is 9-2 favourite for Saturday’s 2 400m test.
Anton Marcus, who rides the gelding, is reunited with One World in the Cape Mile and the Marshall colt has opened favourite at 16-10. Marcus won four out of five on One World last season including the Concorde Cup, CTS 1600 and Winter Guineas.
MJ Byleveld, successful on the four-year-old in the Matchem last month, is this time on stable companion Tap O’Noth on whom he won the 2017 Cape Guineas. Tap O’Noth is third favourite at 15-2 with the Brett Crawford-trained Charles on 7-2.
The hat-trick seeking Boomps A Daisy (Greg Cheyne) heads the market for the Laisserfaire Stakes at 7-2. Marcus, who cannot get anywhere near the filly’s allotted 52kg, rides fellow Ridgemont runner Nastergal who is a 13-2 shot.
Aldo Domeyer, on paternity leave from Hong Kong, has seven rides and his best chances (at least according to the opening betting) would appear to be on the Candice Bass-Robinson trained Mayfern in race three and on What A Lover for Piet Steyn in the last.
By Michael Clower