Robert Khathi will be out of action until the end of March after breaking his arm when unseated from Twice As Sleek nearing the start of the 1 000m maiden at Kenilworth on New Year’s Eve.
Khathi, 35, said yesterday: “Twice As Sleek is a strong horse and he was handful in the parade ring. My foot came out of the irons as the groom let him go and the horse bolted. I came off just before we reached the start and I broke my left arm. It’s one of those things but it’s unfortunate that it should have happened just as I was doing well.”
Indeed the break could hardly have come at a worse time with the Cape season heading towards its height and, even more importantly, as Khathi was beginning to establish himself as number two jockey at the all-powerful Justin Snaith operation. He had been due to ride Crown Towers in Saturday’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Platinum Class in the Cartier Paddock Stakes.
Hawwaam, fractionally odds-on for the big one, pleased the Mike De Kock stable when partnered by Anton Marcus in a spin at Kenilworth on Saturday according to a report in the Sporting Post which quoted De Kock as saying: “Anton worked him over the 1 000m straight. He strode out well and he is in a good place. We are all set for Saturday and then he will go straight into the Sun Met.”
De Kock is also expected to run last season’s Cape Guineas winner Soqrat. I spoke to the trainers of the Cape Town-based runners on Saturday and all eight horses are reported on course for the country’s premier mile race which, thankfully, avoided the stakes cuts and remains an R1.5 million attraction.
Brett Crawford reports that Dynasty’s Blossom will miss the Cartier Paddock Stakes to run in the Peninsula Handicap. Glen Kotzen sends his WSB Cape Fillies Guineas third Third Runway for the Cartier Sceptre on Friday before going for the Majorca while Cape Guineas runner-up Viva Rio will use a progress plate, rather than the Politician, as a stepping stone to the Cape Derby on February 22.
By Michael Clower