Gabor is a worthy favourite for the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes over 1600m on eLan Gold Cup day at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.
This Gavin van Zyl-trained filly was drawn wide in the Grade 2 Golden Slipper over 1400m on Vodacom Durban July day and was then caught wide in the running. Yet she still managed to stay on well for third. She has substance and the perfect pedigree for this event being by Kingsbarns, who won the Grade 1 Racing Post Trophy over a mile as a two-year-old in the UK, out of a Trippi half-sister to the Thekwini winner Roxanne (Western Winter).
Warren Kennedy said before her last race that if had not been for her wide draw he would confidently predict she would finish in the first three. She managed to achieve that feat anyway and now has a plum draw of two.
However, she won’t have it all her own way as the winner of the Golden Slipper, Cockney Pride, looked a picture in the preliminaries that day and then showed her class by settling well on the rail in midfield and then using her long stride to run on strongly. She looks to have scope for further improvement. She does have a wide draw now of 12 but does look capable of making up plenty of ground so might well be dropped out.
Those two look to be the principles in this intriguing race but the bookmakers are siding with Gabor, who is around 17/10, while Cockney Pride is only third favourite at 6,25/1.
True To Life is the second favourite at around 5/1 but is under a cloud as she moved up well in the straight in the Golden Slipper before finding little extra and finishing fourth. On pedigree this long-striding Duke Of Marmalade filly will relish the step up to 1600m, as her dam by Medaglia D’Oro won up to 2000m, so that might have just been an off day.
By David Thiselton