Too Cute may reverse debut placings with Dark Crystal and Richard Fourie in the Tabonline.co.za Maiden Plate at Kenilworth today and the pair dominate the betting.
Dark Crystal opened 28-10 favourite and World Sports Betting had Too Cute on 33-10 yesterday with Sweet Karma (15-2) the only other in single figures. Dark Crystal came out a length and a quarter the better 17 days ago despite losing ground at the start. Anton Marcus’s mount, on the other hand, raced prominently only to weaken in the final furlong. Crucially she had to switch approaching the 300m mark.
There is no shortage of confidence in either camp. “She just needed that first run and I think she has improved a hell of a lot since,” says Brett Crawford of Too Cute while Jono Snaith reports that the favourite has also come on, adding: “She has a lot of ability and I think she will take some beating.”
Sweet Karma, the mount of champion Lyle Hewitson, also has solid form and was fourth to the smart Mirage with subsequent Perfect Promise winner Amy Johnson third. But she has less obvious scope for improvement.
Donovan Dillon makes a welcome but overdue return on 10-1 shot Caribbean Sunset after the knee damage he suffered in the pens on Met day took longer than expected to heal. His best hope of a winner is probably the Joey Ramsden-trained Lip Service in race seven.
Two-year-olds have won only three times against older horses in Cape Town this season but they mount a strong challenge in the first as well as in race three. The Dean Kannemeyer-trained Sir Michael was only three-quarters of a length behind the more experienced Pick Eight Captain on debut at Durbanville and so it is reasonable to suppose that he will reverse the placings with his fellow 9-2 joint favourite.
But the vote goes to the older Fergie’s Rock (5-1) who went close on this course three weeks ago. “That was his first run since being gelded and he has done well since,” says Brett Crawford.
Man About Town has the benefit of the in-form Bernard Fayd’Herbe in the Play Soccer Handicap, his recent form is good and he has won over the trip. His price (12-10) is nothing to write home about but he is hard to oppose.
Kursk, on the other hand, carries a red warning light as he is drawn on the wide outside in the 16-runner Betting World Maiden. He finished third from a similar draw last time (Crawford: “It cost him that day and it is going to be tough for him again”) but his jockey’s famed ability at the gate may just be enough. Stable companion High Key and 15-1 longshot Sark (slight interference last time) look the dangers.
By Michael Clower