One World, beaten only twice in ten starts, is the obvious choice for the Cape Mile at Kenilworth tomorrow.
The Vaughan Marshall four-year-old has a theoretical 2.5kg in hand on adjusted ratings and made a winning return in the Matchem five weeks ago. Little wonder that he is favourite at around 16-10. But what also points to his chance is that Anton Marcus, an astute judge of form and successful on all but one of his five rides on the horse, asked for the mount.
Marshall also saddles his 2017 Cape Guineas winner Tap O’Noth (15-2) who showed his wellbeing with a fine effort on his return at Durbanville. Marshall agrees with the handicappers’ assessments of the pair’s relative merits but adds: “Tap O’Noth is going to need further now.”
That last comment was echoed by trainers of others high up in the betting with Brett Crawford saying of 33-10 second favourite Charles: “I do think he needs more ground but I have always felt that he is a good horse and I am expecting a good run.”
Stable companion Search Party (10-1) is better known as a sprinter but his trainer points out: “He did win over a mile as a three-year-old and I think he is capable over it.”
Bunker Hunt, 9-1 and joint second best with Tap O’Noth on ratings, has been off since July day and Justin Snaith cautions: “He has only had one gallop and he would probably be better over a bit further.”
Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who won this 12 months ago on favourite Rainbow Bridge, this time partners 14-1 shot Majestic Mozart but if you are optimistically looking for a big price 20-1 about Priceless Ruler is generous for a Dennis Drier horse who has won his last two.
The Laisserfaire Stakes, despite its name, is a handicap and the hat-trick seeking Boomps A Daisy is favourite at 9-2 but she has been off for nearly five months. The other Ridgemont runners, Nastergal and Mushi Sterek, are both 13-2 chances as is top weight Freedom Charter who was second 12 months ago and also runner-up more recently in the Diana.
She has big chance but in what looks an open race it could pay to go for the 12-1 Drier-trained In The Stars who is on a hat-trick.
The weights in the Woolavington Stakes are calculated on merit ratings, bracketed together in bands of five, and top weight Kampala Campari (17-2) comes out best, a kilo above Elusive Silva and Man About Town. But this is his first race of the season.
“He is not the type of horse that needs a run,” says Andre Nel. “It’s more a question of whether he will get the trip.”
And will he? Nel grins and shakes his head. “I dunno – but there is only one way to find out!”
Winter Derby winner Dharma (13-2) will like the distance and is probably still on the upgrade. Strathdon is favourite at 9-2 but this is his first appearance since the Gold Cup and the vote goes to 5-1 chance Herodotus.
By Michael Clower