Traces looks hard to catch

PUBLISHED: 04 December 2019

Traces (Candiese Lenferna)

Traces looks good for the Graduation Plate at Kenilworth today. The Brett Crawford Australian-bred has only won once in nine starts but his fifth in the Cape Merchants 11 days ago suggests he is going to be hard to beat.

Anton Marcus rides, as he has done in the four-year-old’s last two runs and, despite the handicappers dropping him a kilo for his good Merchants effort, he still has a theoretical 4.5kg in hand. Not surprisingly he is favourite but the present 16-10 is not prohibitive.

Traces (Candiese Lenferna)
Traces (Candiese Lenferna)

Next best in is the top weight Machiavelli who won over 100m further than this in August and is 4-1 second favourite. General Franco comes next in the betting at 9-2 but is hard to fancy on anything except his debut win.

The opening two-year-old race is a fascinating affair as none of the seven runners has been seen before. Glen Kotzen runs three and has booked Warren Kennedy for Mifid Two who opened favourite at 17-10. This Gimmethegreenlight filly is out of the Diana winner and Cape Fillies Guineas third Double Whammy and is jointly the most expensive filly in the field at R200 0000 at the National Two Year Old Sale. “She hasn’t done much but she is a nice filly and she is probably the most forward of my three runners,” says the Woodhill trainer.

His other two were bought at the Klawervlei Farm Sale – Musical Glitch (R30 000) by Jay Peg out of a mare who won over a mile, and Ruby Rhythm (R35 000) by Captain Of All out of a mare who won twice at two and is a half-sister to the July second Run For It.

Justin Snaith runs Favorita, a Gimmethegreenlight out of a Var mare and who didn’t go to the sales. “She is very small but very speedy,” says Snaith. “She has only had one gallop when she went with Stuck On You (third last Saturday) and finished half a length the better.”

Glen Puller’s assistant Riaan van Reenen says that Dad’s Catch (a R150 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale purchase by Captain Of All out of a Western Winter mare) “is more advanced than our two who ran last Saturday and she will be competitive.”

Winter Peace cost R200 000 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale and is by What A Winter out of a half-sister to State Crown who won the Winter Guineas and was third in the Cape Guineas. Candice Bass-Robinson admits she is a bit in the dark about the filly’s chance and says:” She is not lightning quick but she is a nice filly.”

Last, but certainly not least, is the bargain basement buy Spacial Aura, by Jay Peg out of a mare who won once in ten starts and as a three-year-old. She failed to find a buyer at R20 000 at the Cape Yearling Sale and was bought at the Klawervlei for only R5 000.

Mike Robinson, who trained the dam, is positive, saying: “She has shown nice speed and she has done everything right. Robert Khathi has done the work on her but he has on Justin’s runner as well so he rides that. Richard Fourie rang me and said he was available.”

So nobody is that bullish and the race looks wide open. Punters (and this writer too) got it wrong with Thomas Henry on Saturday. Unless there is a real move for any of them it just might pay to side with Fourie’s mount at 7-2.

Gavin Lerena flies down for just two rides – Bold Diva and Cartel Captain – but it looks significant that Anton Marcus rode Rocamadour last time and is on her again in the Betting World Maiden even though she is not a Ridgemont horse. I also like Speed Of Night in race two and Proclaimer in the next.

By Michael Clower