Saturday’s Southern Cross Stakes is dominated by the Sceptre and Majorca winner Clouds Unfold, beaten only once in her last seven starts, and Run Fox Run who has won all her four races. Neither has raced since May but sponsors World Sports Betting make it almost a straight fight with 22-10 against both of them. You can get 10-1 and upwards about anything else.
It is Clouds Unfold’s first appearance since chipping the point of her hip when slipping on the grass at Summerveld but apparently she is none the worse.
“She has come on nicely, she has been doing well and she looks great,” reports Candice Bass-Robinson. “She has had two gallops and, while it’s her first run back in a long time and she has top weight, I think she will run well. However they might run her off her feet a little bit over 1 000m.”
There is little danger of that happening with Run Fox Run whose races have all been over sprint distances. “She has had two gallops here in preparation for this and, being a five furlong, I am not worried about her fitness – she will be fit enough,” says Brett Crawford. “I am expecting a very good run.”
Hawwaam’s absence from the WSB Green Point makes it an all Cape Town race and Vardy’s price has been halved to 9-2 joint third favourite. But is that too short? Not according to the ratings because he has no penalty and comes out equal top with Do It Again when you adjust for the weights. This makes him a kilo better than Rainbow Bridge!
But, before you rush off to back him, listen to Adam Marcus’s words of caution: “He has improved a lot physically and I am excited about him for the season. But he has had a small chip removed from his near-fore knee and this is his first race since the operation. It should be a nice come-on run but, while he is quite well-in, he is not at his peak so I don’t think those one or two kilos are going to help that much.“
Fellow 9-2 shot One World, though, could be quite a different story. He has only been beaten twice in 11 starts and the way he won both the Matchem and the Cape Mile this term suggests he is crying out for the longer run-in of the summer course. Furthermore he has a fitness advantage over the top two.
“He has been doing well since the Cape Mile and he put in some nice work when he galloped on the course last week,” says Vaughan Marshall. “I am very happy with him, he has a good draw and I think he is going to run very, very well.”
Head Honcho, you might think, will ensure a cracking gallop – but apparently not this time. “We will be more patient,” says Andre Nel. “Also 1 600m is not his best trip but he runs here because I am trying to work in two races before the Met.”
Nel, who believes he can win the WSB Cape Summer Stayers with 15-1 shot Crome Yellow, also runs 80-1 outsider La Favourari. “The jockeys who ride him keep saying ‘Go a mile,’ he is nearing the end of his career so we are doing that before he retires.”
In addition to all the top class racing Kenilworth is laying on a Christmas market and providing treats for children. Burger King is providing 500 meals for them while 150 orphan children have been specially invited and each will be provided with a special first-day-of-school package for next term.
World Sports Betting will have a presence in the first floor Paddock Room as well as their customary spot on the ground floor.
By Michael Clower