Kasimir will be crowned Equus Champion sprinter if converting 19/10 favouritism in the Grade 1 weight for age Mercury Sprint over 1200m at the eLan Gold Cup meeting at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.
However, Chimchuri Run or Celtcic Sea could wrest it from his grasp if they win the R1 million event.
Kasimir stamped himself as the best sprinter in the country when winning the Grade 1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship over 1000m at Kenilworth in impressive fashion. He has a magnificent action and proved his courage next time out in the Grade 2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes over 1200m when seeing off some late challenges despite having been used up to overcome an unfavourable draw. He will have come on considerably from his last start in the Post Merchants and will be hard to beat from a fair draw of eight.
Celtic Sea displayed her terrific turn of foot when sitting behind the leading line and then taking off in the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville. She then showed her versatility by winning the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m. She has always had a liking for Hollywoodbets Greyville and from a favourable draw of five will be running on strongly.
Chimichuri Run proved how good his turn of foot is when winning the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint over this trip. From his wide draw on Saturday he will likely have to be dropped out so will have to rely on his acceleration again.
The pace is going to be of importance and it could be provided by Snowdance, whose best career runs have been when allowed to use her big action throughout. From a high draw of 13 Anton Marcus might have no option but to go to the front. She made a bold bid to lead from start to finish in the SA Fillies Sprint when losing by 1,70 lengths to Celtic Sea. However, that was her first run for four months and she be in fine shape coming off a third place finish to Celtic Sea in the Garden Province. Her finishing kick is likely more effective over a bit further, but she can’t be written off.
Bold Respect led from pillar to post when winning the Tsogo Sun Sprint last year so is another possible pacemaker from draw eleven. He has placed in good company in all his starts this season but does have issues and has been a touch disappointing. He has a tough task reversing from with the like of Kasimir but should be thereabouts again.
The most interesting entry is the two-year-old Frosted Gold. He was unlucky in the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion over 1200m when having to be switched to the outside for a run and only failing by 0,60 lengths. If his innate ability is as good as the like of Kasimir’s he will have just as much chance of winning because he will receive 7,5kg in accordance with the weight for age system which has been tried and tested over one-and-a-half centuries. In fact one of Britain’s top weight for age sprints, The Nunthorpe Stakes, has been won twice by two-year-olds in the last 30 years.
Alyaasaat showed a good turn of foot when beating a good field over 1400m in his penultimate start. He likely used his last start over 1160m as a preparation for this event. He is six points lower than Kasimir in the merit ratings but has been running over further so is unknown over this trip and is a dark horse.
Van Halen will also be a dark horse. He looked to be top class when winning the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion last year, but then disappointed in Cape Town this season. However, he has looked like his old self recently and has also learned to settle in the running. He has consequently reeled off two wins in succession at Hollywoodbets Greyville, using his fine turn of foot from off the pace. He is worthy of his 110 rating, which gives him a hard task with Kasimir, but he is proven Grade 1 class.
Last year’s winner Will Pays is another dark horse as this is the first time since that win that he will be dropping back to this trip. He is drawn in pole so will dive down the inside like he did last year. However, it looks to be a stronger field.
Africa Rising has a big heart and a good turn of foot but has a tricky draw and on Tsogo Sun Sprint form is 1,5kg worse off with Chimichuri Run despite being beaten by 0,95 lengths. The latter as a three-year-old would have made weight for age improvement since then too.
Palace Chapel has pace and a good kick but was beaten 1,65 lengths by Chimichuri Run in the Tsogo Sun Sprint and is now 2kg worse off.
Search Party won the Post Merchants over course and distance two years ago and finished third in the Cape Flying this year but is an unlikely winner here from a wide draw.
Vision To Kill ran on strongly from off the pace for third in the SA Fillies Sprint and will be hoping for a good pace, but she does have 3,80 lengths to find on Celtic Sea.
La Bella Mia won the Post Merchants in good style but she was well weighted in that race and is officially by far the worst weighted horse here.
By David Thiselton