Take the plunge on Durban Beach
PUBLISHED: January 2, 2015
Justin Snaith, having gone close in all three Kenilworth two-year-old races last month, can strike with Durban Beach at the Cape Town course tomorrow.
The Captain Al newcomer is by far the highest-priced horse in the field at R600 000 and is out of Golden Slipper runner-up State Factor. “He can run a bit,” says the champion trainer who adds that Richard Fourie’s mount would bear comparison with Buckinghampshire who was second to the smart Seventh Plain a fortnight ago.
This one is expected to fare better than stable companion Cardinal Call, on this occasion anyway. Most bookmakers are not offering prices on the race until tomorrow but Durban Beach is 12-10 favourite in the Betting World forecast while Cardinal Call is a 5-1 chance.
Ernie (7-2) and Red Rex (33-1) are the only two that have raced and they finished fifth and seventh behind Seventh Plain. “Ernie was a green that day. He has come on a bit and I think he will be in the first three,” says Mike Bass. “But he is not a sprinting type and I don’t know that he can win over 800m.”
Riaan van Reenen also has reservations about Red Rex, saying: “I think he will have come on by about five lengths but that is not enough to win this.”
Brett Crawford’s horses continue to run well and forecast 6-1 shot Political Power (by Windrush) may not be far away. “He is not a four furlong horse but he is sharp and doing well,” says his trainer. “He is precocious enough to get going and he is ready to run.”
Glen Kotzen is anticipating a good effort from the Rebel King-sired Princess Jane (7-2), the only filly in the field – “She is quick and she has got to be a factor.”
However Stan Elley is not expecting that much from R100 000-buy Bugs Bunny (12-1)– “He moves well but he is underdone and will need the experience.”
The Rebel King gelding Galaxy King is a 20-1 chance and represents Ronnie Sheehan who was admitted to hospital on New Year’s Eve but was yesterday expecting to be allowed home.
Snaith and Fourie could complete a quick double with Ultimate Dollar in the All To Come Maiden. This one opened at 8-10 and a fortnight ago finished like a certain future winner over this trip and only just failed. He had Panga Panga (16-10) over two lengths behind.
Guest Of Honour steps up in trip in the Soccer 6 Maiden and Grant van Niekerk’s mount is hard to oppose even though 5-10 looks too short. Dwyka ran below form last time and is in with a chance at 4-1 while Alzerra (18-10) looks a worthy favourite for race four.
Same Jurisdiction the one to beat
PUBLISHED: January 2, 2015
The Gr 3 Flamboyant Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m on the turf heads the weekend racing in KwaZulu-Natal which includes an eight race card at Greyville on Friday night and a nine race card at Scottsville on Sunday.
The Flamboyant, race 7 at Greyville tonight, is a conditions race and at first glance the Duncan Howells-trained Same Jurisdiction, who won the Gr 1 Thekwini over the same course and distance, has it at her mercy.
However, this is her first run since the Thekwini as her intended seasonal reappearance was washed out and Howells said, “Obviously it’s a concern that she missed that preparation race, but we have her as fit as we possibly can and she put up a very good gallop on Tuesday. She shows extremely good work, although she will need things to go her way as there is always the concern in night racing that a horse could be a bit above itself.”
Same Jurisdiction will be ridden by Stuart Randolph, who replaces the recuperating Kevin Shea, and jumps from a plum draw of three.
Admiral’s Eye is 3,5kg under sufferance with Same Jurisdiction but is drawn well with Sean Cormack up and this now looks to be her ideal trip. There are question marks though whether she enjoys the Greyville turf track.
Educated has a definite chance on the form of her last meeting with Admiral’s Eye over this trip on the poly. She is trained by Howells, whose recent turf form has been tremendous, so is interesting back against her own gender after two unplaced efforts against the boys. A wide draw is against her but champion jockey S’Manga Khumalo gets the ride.
Caviar has only run once over 1600m, on the Greyville polytrack, and isn’t far behind Admiral’s Eye and Educated on that form, so is interesting from pole position as she does love the Greyville 1400m trip.
Captain’s Daughter is a front-running sort who could surprise as she usually keeps on well. Her stablemate Admiral’s Eye does have her well held on their last meeting over this trip at Scottsville, but she probably needed that run, being her first since a trip two months earlier to the Vaal for a Listed event.
The bottom weight Pearl Emblem has always been rated by the in form yard of Paul Lafferty, so should rise above her current merit rating and can’t be ignored. Her stablemate Goldie Coast is also capable of delivering a fine turn of speed if things go her way. She needs to be settled quickly in behind horses.
Berlinetta is a long striding sort who ran quite well when stepped up to 1400m on the polytrack last time out, but she is considerably out at the weights and has a wide draw to overcome. Supercede and Sakania have a lot to do at the weights on their turf form and Choir Maiden will be stretched by this trip.
The selection is Same Jurisdiction to beat Caviar, Educated, Goldie Coast and Pearl Emblem.
The eye-catching bet on the card could be Supreme Power in the fifth race. He is under sufferance in this 1400m polytrack event, but that is alleviated by the 2,5kg claim of the rider and if he repeats his last run over 1400m, which was a narrow defeat to the useful Charles Lytton in Cape Town, he will have a fine each/way chance.
In the second race over 1200m on the polytrack the hard-knocking National Approval looks hard to oppose.
The Lafferty-trained Jay Power waltzed in over 2400m in a Pinnacle Stakes event at Scottsville last month and also looks hard to oppose in the sixth race over 2400m on turf if he repeats that run. However, he is not the most consistent horse and the Howells-trained Roc ‘N Rose should also be included.
The Dennis Drier-trained Ice Pack should get it right in the third over 1600m on the poly from an ideal looking draw. Drier and Cormack should then make it a quick double over the same course and distance in the next with the good looking Art Deco, who should take to the step up in trip having run on well over 1200m last time out.
The eighth on turf over 1600m could go to Academy Princess, who has improved with blinkers and represents the in form Craig Eudey yard from a good draw.
The main race at Scottsville on Sunday is the non-Black Type African Holly Handicap and the unbeaten Charles Laird-trained Viva Le Var, off just a 95 merit rating, looks the one to beat with Cormack up.
Act Of War takes Politician route
PUBLISHED: January 2, 2015
Act Of War’s connections sprang a surprise on Wednesday by declaring the Grand Parade Cape Guineas winner for the R250 000 Julius Baer Politician Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday week.
They have taken the star colt out of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate which is run on the same day and is worth four times as much. The Queen’s Plate was previously said to be one of three options for his last race in South Africa before he goes overseas. The other two were the J & B Met and the Investec Cape Derby, both on 31 January.
Derek Brugman, racing manager for owner Markus Jooste, explained: “We are not 100% sure whether he will run in the Politician but we had to make the call 12 days out.
“We want to give him a run over slightly further than a mile to get a feeling of where we are with him. But, if we feel that we would rather give him another two weeks off before 31 January, we won’t run him in the Politician and will instead give him a gallop closer to the time. We will make a final decision in the next few days.”
Brugman indicated that it is still the plan to run the Joey Ramsden-trained colt in either the Met or the Cape Derby, but a decision on which race is likely to be deferred until after the Politician. Act Of War, who has won his last six races, is 15-2 for the Met.
On paper at least he has the Politician at his mercy. He is officially rated 7.5kg in front of the next highest horses, Mljet and Imperial Gold.
Piere Strydom, who won last month’s Selangor Cup on him but opted for Harry’s Son in the Guineas, will be back on board if he does run in the Politician.
Picture: Act Of War (Liesl King)
Legislate ‘in a good place’
PUBLISHED: January 2, 2015
Vodacom Durban July winner Legislate warmed up for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate with a solo workout over 1 400m under big race jockey Richard Fourie at Kenilworth early on Wednesday.
Justin Snaith said: “He was blowing a little bit afterwards but he hadn’t run for a while and he pulled up fine. This will put him right for the Queen’s Plate.”
Fourie added: “He didn’t go flat out but we didn’t need him to go any faster than he did. He is happy in himself and in a good place. It’s just a pity there aren’t more runners. I think some of the guys are scared of him!”
The four-year-old is expected to start odds-on for the January 10 showpiece and he is 6-10 with Betting World which makes Triple Crown hero Louis The King and Champions Cup winner Futura joint second favourites at 4-1. Everything else is in double figures with Kingvoldt on 10-1 and 20-1 Jet Explorer, 33-1 Tellina, Gold Onyx, 40-1 Ashton Park, 50-1 Paterfamilias.
Picture: Snaith Racing
Quality line-up for Queens Plate
PUBLISHED: January 2, 2015
The prestigious weight for age (wfa) 1600m contest is rated one of the top five thoroughbred events in the world and will be one of two Gr 1 races run at Kenilworth on January 10, the other being the Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1800m, which has also attracted a quality field.
The presence of the Justin Snaith-trained Legislate and the Geoff Woodruff-trained Louis The King in the Queen’s Plate entry list chased many horses away, but far from detracting from the race as a spectacle it will add to it, as this is a duel that many have been anticipating for a long time.
However, it is by no means a two horse contest. Another of the Gr 1 winners in the field, Futura, is rated by many as a future champion in his own right and runners like Jet Explorer, Tellina, Ashton Park and Kingvoldt will ensure that the top trio will not be able to afford any slip ups.
The world class three-time Gr 1 winner Legislate smashed the course record over this distance on the Kenilworth Old Course last time out in the Gr 2 Green Point Stakes in his seasonal reappearance. He has every weapon in his armour, including pace, stamina, strength, temperament, balance, a fine action and a devastating turn of foot, so will be hard to beat.
Three-time Gr 1 winner Louis The King is probably the most popular horse in the country, due to his rags-to-riches story, immense courage and loveable character. He has been beaten by Legislate over further, but those who remember the phenomenal burst of speed he displayed when annihilating a classy field in last season’s Gauteng Guineas will be predicting a famous victory on January 10 in the hands of the peerless Piere Strydom.
Futura has a fine turn of foot and ran an eye-catching third in his seasonal reappearance in the Green Point Stakes. On the downside, he might prefer a touch further and has also had a slightly interrupted preparation.
Jet Explorer, stablemate to Legislate, would be a fairy-tale winner as he has come back from a smashed jaw caused when brought down in a Gr 1 race last June. He was unlucky in the Queen’s Plate last year when flying up late for third and looks to have enjoyed a perfect preparation.
Tellina, stablemate to Louis The King and also a former Gauteng Guineas winner, finished just 0,7 lengths behind last season’s Queen’s Plate winner Capetown Noir in the wfa Gr 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein last March, so has the necessary class.
Ashton Park has blossomed as a five-year-old in the typical fashion of a horse trained by the maestro Mike Bass and proved he can mix it with the best when finishing a surprise second in the Green Point Stakes.
The country’s best three-year-old Act Of War was the most disappointing absentee from the final field, but his stablemate Kingvoldt is only a couple of lengths behind him on form and will ensure that the three-year-old factor adds to the intrigue of the race.
Gold Onyx is a Gr 1 winner over this distance, but is getting on in years. Paterfamilias has only his second run in more than a year and will likely be better suited to the distance and conditions of the J&B Met.
The perennial rivals Hammie’s Hooker and Jet Aglow will clash once more in the Paddock Stakes and now that their nemesis Beach Beauty is retired either of them could finally land the Gr 1 victory they richly deserve.
However, the Gr 1 winner over this 1800m distance, Athina, as well as Jet Belle, who beat Jet Aglow in a Gr 2 over 2000m last season, are among those who will ensure an exciting contest.
Maybe Yes is full of class and should stay this 1800m trip now that she has matured. Jet Supreme and Acrostar have come into their own this season and Shingwedzi can’t be written off either. Ash Cloud is a Gr 1 winner but would probably prefer further.
Inara, Pine Princess and Grey Light will all love the 1800m distance and are worthy representatives of what could prove to be a strong three-year-old fillies crop.