African Warrior, ante-post favourite for both the Concorde Cup and the Cape Merchants at Kenilworth on Saturday week, will stick to his own age group in the mile race.
Dean Kannemeyer said yesterday: “African Warrior runs in the Concorde. I placed him well in Durban and then really exposed him for the first time in the Matchem. He was badly drawn but it was a fantastic run and I think his best performance so far, fifth behind horses like One World.
“He had good workout round the turn at Kenilworth before the first race last Saturday. Keagan de Melo rode him and he did pacework from the 1 400. He went well and I was pleased with him.
“I think he should get the mile of the Concorde, being by Vercingetorix out of a Jet Master mare. He is tough and sound and, although only small, he is as hard as a rock.”
Kannemeyer won the Concorde’s predecessor, the Selangor, six times in his first nine years as a trainer. “That was a long time ago – they still had black and white movies in those days,” he quipped but he also has Premiers Champion runner-up Liberty Hall, Seventh Gear and Sir Michael in the race.
“Seventh Gear will probably participate but, although I haven’t made a decision yet, it might come a little bit too soon for Liberty Hall. He had a slight travel sickness when he arrived back from Durban so we were a bit slow getting him going again and I gave him a run in a handicap up the straight on Tuesday last week.”
African Night Sky will have his first race since changing stables, and starting favourite for Justin Snaith in last year’s Vodacom Durban July, in the Cape Merchants. He then damaged a tendon, reportedly in transit from Durban, and this will be his first start for Kannemeyer.
The Milnerton trainer, who won the Merchants with 25-1 shock Honour The Guest 16 years ago, said: “We are trying to get African Night Sky ready for the Sun Met. He has had two grass gallops – he went to Durbanville and on Tuesday last week he did 800m pacework at Kenilworth. We will see how he comes out of the Merchants and take it from there.”
By Michael Clower