Head Honcho should be able to get the better of Tap O’Noth in the clash of the titans in the TAB Telebet Pinnacle Stakes at Durbanville today.
The six-year-old, ridden this time by Richard Fourie, has not raced at the country course before and has not been seen since dropping back in the closing stages of the Vodacom Durban July. But he was good enough to take third in the Sun Met and on adjusted merit ratings he has 4.5kg in hand.
It is easy to picture him going off in front at a strong gallop and being difficult to peg back. “I think he will suit the course,” says Andre Nel. “I was really pleased with the way he went when he went there recently for a gallop.
“He is the type of horse that can run well fresh and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins but it is a prep run and I want to give him at least two of them before he goes for something like the Premier.”
Tap O’Noth, winner of the 2017 Cape Guineas, has not raced since the Met in January. “We gelded him and then sent him to the farm but he has come back a much better horse,” reports Vaughan Marshall. “He has been doing well and he galloped on the course with One World recently but whether he is quite sharp enough I am not sure.”
Nel has three others in the race but, while Kampala Campari is far from certain to run, he expects a good showing from Capoeira – “He is doing very well and I think he is worth watching.”
Most bookmakers had Head Honcho favourite at around 16-10 and Tap O’Noth on 7-2 yesterday morning but those odds will shorten considerably if Kampala Campari comes out. Man About Town is probably the pick of the remainder but it will be a surprise if he comes home in front.
Mr Cobbs has the form to change Candice Bass-Robinson’s luck in the Play Soccer 6 Maiden (race two) but Anthony Andrews’ mount has a difficult draw to overcome and preference is for Stormin Norman, the second of eight rides for S’Manga Khumalo.
Imperial Rage was the stable’s second string when going under by less than a neck to Veratrum early last month and the Justin Snaith runner may have come on enough to account for Lit in the Interbet.co.za Maiden (race six).
By Michael Clower