One World will take on big guns Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge in next month’s WSB Green Point after justifying favouritism in the Cape Mile at Kenilworth on Saturday. But this season’s new tactics gave his jockey a few anxious moments while some of those who backed the horse thought they were going to have a heart attack.
This was very different from those smooth out-in-front performances in the likes of the CTS 1600 but maybe that defeat in the Winter Classic has been weighing on Vaughan Marshall’s mind because he explained: “I don’t think you can win big races by lugging it out in front so we have tried to teach him to settle.”
The 21-20 shot did so quite comfortably but picking up was another matter and Anton Marcus had to start riding going into the final turn. Just as he had done with M.J. Byleveld in the Matchem, One World looked in serious trouble a furlong and a half from home.
Anton Marcus, who had studied the Matchem, said: “I thought M.J. rode the most amazing race that day and here, just prior to turning for home, the horse had a tendency to lug in. I tried to get him on the rail but Corne Orffer (on Charles) kept me out – and rightly so. Early in the straight I was worried but I knew I had the ratings.”
Amazing to think that in the heat of battle, perilously perched on the back of a half-ton horse travelling at 60kph and striving to make it go even faster, he could find time to think of the handicappers’ assessments. Little wonder he is so hard to beat!
“But this horse doesn’t want to lose,” Marcus continued. “He helps you and he gets you out of it.” Sure enough he did just that, he was in front 100m out and travelling so well that his rider was able to drop his hands before the line.
It takes some doing to transform a natural front-runner into a horse that’s waited with and Marshall said: “I am proud of him. After the Green Point it’s the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. Then it’s lullah time before we go to Durban.”
Whatever about the punters, the race and the tactics took their toll on the owners with Ken Truter saying: “I was a bundle of nerves and I am so relieved it’s over” while Etienne Braun added: “I think I aged ten years at the 400m.”
Stable companion Tap O’Noth, who ran on in the final furlong after being last much of the way, will run in the Premier Trophy on December 21 while Brett Crawford is eyeing the Peninsula Handicap (Jan 11) for fourth-placed Charles. That 1 800 race could also be on the agenda for 50-1 runner-up More Magic who is an improver worth noting as Candice Bass-Robinson said she had expected him to run this well.
Bunker Hunt would have finished closer than fifth but for twice being hampered in the straight. “He was very unlucky. Earmark him for next time,” advised Justin Snaith.
Snaith, four winners here last Tuesday, took the other two features with Strathdon (Marcus) and Casual Diamond ridden by Robert Khathi who was suspended for a week for causing chain-reaction interference just under two furlongs out.
Strathdon, winning for the first time for almost two years, is to be aimed at the Western Cape Stayers on Met day and Marcus said: “I had made him the horse to beat in most of the staying races in Durban but clearly he holds his best form in the Cape.”
Louis Kirsten’s Casual Diamond was running for only the second time since February and Snaith explained: “We retired her and sent her to the stud farm but she wasn’t covered. I got a phone call from my uncle Jan Mantel asking what we wanted him to do with her. So I said ‘send her back.’ Now she could be worth breeding from.”
Aldo Domeyer, whose new born son Elijah is now out of hospital and in good shape, celebrated his return by winning on Mayfern and said: “The intention is to stay for the whole Cape summer season but it depends on the Hong Kong Jockey Club and what the rota looks like. I will keep in touch with them.”
By Michael Clower