Golden Ducat is taken to defy the general rule that you shouldn’t back horses first time out of the maidens when he contests the Tellytrack.com Handicap at Kenilworth today.
The principle makes a lot of sense because so many horses struggle when they are pitted against seasoned handicappers for the first time. Their maiden wins were achieved against fellow novices, many of whom in all probability were slow to leave the pens or spent a lot of time looking around them. Now the opposition all know they are there to race.
But this mile event is slightly different and not just because Golden Ducat is a half-brother to Rainbow Bridge and Hawwaam. His two main dangers, at least according to the betting, also won a maiden on their most recent start.
Eric Sands, who said previously “I think Golden Ducat is going to be a top horse,” said: “I am confident about his ability” when asked how he thought his horse would fare in today’s race. Mind you, he did qualify that by expressing concerns about the horse’s mental approach, much as he had done when Golden Ducat won last month.
Possibly the colt’s 2-1 price does not fully take this into account but he gets the vote on the strength of the way he won and the fact that runner-up Turn It Up Harvey went close last Saturday.
Favourite at 17-10 is Pinkerton who comfortably justified a very short price to win at the fifth attempt at the beginning of the month. Richard Fourie rides him in preference to 11-2 stable companion Peaceful Day who receives a kilo and got up close home to score in his fourth and most recent race.
“They are both horses who will go through the divisions but I think Pinkerton is a bit more ready and that Peaceful Day may need another run out of the maidens,” says Justin Snaith. “Pinkerton is a big runner and he will go very close.”
Top weight Late At Night (13-2) has had two races out of the maidens and lost ground at the start last time. “I am expecting a good run here,” says the in-form Brett Crawford. “He is doing very well at home and I think he will love the mile.”
Six Degrees (8-1) is the only four-year-old in the field and Glen Kotzen says: “I ran him the other day over 1 400m and he needs further. He has a nice draw and I give him a good chance.”
Brandenburg (15-2) finished two lengths in front of Six Degrees last time and is only half a kilo worse so, in theory at least, he should confirm the placings. Jean’s Man is the outsider of the party at 12-1 but it could be significant that he is stepping up in trip.
Aldo Domeyer’s mount Congo Compaq, racing without blinkers this time, is marginally preferred to the improving August Leaves in the first and 35 minutes later Smart William may be able to reverse last time’s placings with Alpha Pappa.
By Michael Clower