Glen Kotzen is keeping an open mind about this season’s campaign for his 2018 Cape Derby winner Eyes Wide Open, winner of the WSB 1900 and fourth in the Vodacom Durban July.
The Woodhill trainer said: “I’m not yet sure what he will do but we are giving him a nice long break and then we will see how we go.”
The Dynasty five-year-old managed only seventh of nine on his final start in the WSB Champions Cup but Kotzen doesn’t believe that this should be written off as just the effects of a tough campaign, reasoning: “He was out at the weights whereas in the July he was handicapped to win but again they went too damn slow. Ideally I would love to have sent him to stud but there are too many horses doing that this time round so we are racing him for a further year.”
Stud is no longer an option for R6 million buy Charles, second in both the Cape Derby and the Track And Ball Derby, because he was gelded on Monday. “We will see how he takes this and then work out a programme for him,” said Brett Crawford who confirmed that the unbeaten Somerset and Cape Nursery winner Armando is in quarantine for Hong Kong. Interestingly he is rated only 102, the same mark as controversially given to maiden winner General Franco.
Ricardo Sobotker, Joey Ramsden’s long-serving assistant, was noticeable by his absence in July and he disclosed why after Howl came good under Ossie Noach in the fillies maiden at Kenilworth yesterday. “I had a bacterial infection and I felt terrible but they said it was a viral infection, not bacterial. I had it for four weeks and then my wife insisted on my going to hospital. I was there for a week and had a further week under homecare. I feel fine again now.”
Howl was reported to have tied up in her shoulder when she was beaten over six lengths on her previous start. “That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said Sobotker. “She was beaten by a better horse (Honey Pie) that day but she is still a bit weak and the mile found her out. That said, she has potential.”
By Michael Clower