With the Gauteng season over, we all move down to the Cape for the next couple of months. I have been here since Wednesday and have stayed over for today’s World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas meeting.
I have quite a good relationship with the Snaith yard so when they give me a call, I will often oblige. I also want to win the feature races and that’s another incentive to get down early. I rode two winners on Wednesday but have found the track running very fast due to the drought in the Cape area.
On the old course, with a short straight, even into a strong headwind the horses are battling to make it up. From today we are racing on the new course with the longer run-in and that is a fairer track so hopefully the horses can come from behind.
Durbanville is in the process of a refurbishment and the Cape jockeys are quite excited about it as there are major improvements. For some trainers, however, with Durbanville being closed, they have no grass gallops and their horses have been affected by a lack of work. For that reason certain horses may need their first outings after a rest.
I rode It’s My Turn during the week and today I ride Black Arthur. They are both entries for the Sun Met. It’s My Turn ran a creditable second and Black Arthur has already had a run and hopefully can improve. In the Green Point Stakes he is taking on the likes of Legal Eagle, Marinaresco and Captain America so it will not be easy for him.
Legal Eagle is the best handicapped horse by far and with a credible first run after a rest he is the horse to beat. He is a definite Place Accumulator banker and even a possible Pick 6 banker. His danger is Marinaresco who also had a very good run after a rest and could improve more from that run.
In the Fillies Guineas you can make a case for almost all the runners. In fact, my first choice is She’s A Giver but with her shocking draw she will need a lot of luck to get the run of the race and for that reason you need to put in as many runners as you can.
The last time I was at Kenilworth I saw Quick Brown Fox win and on looks alone she has to be an inclusion. I ride Final Judgement who is very much on par with the rest of the field and she also needs to be included.
The Cape Merchants is a handicap and the race is wide open. You have to include as many as you can. The horse who defeated this whole field last time is Search Party and with a light weight he could be the one they have to beat again. His main danger is probably Seventh Plain. He finished just behind Search Party and the extra 200m should be right up his alley.
I’m riding Captain Alfredo. He is not well handicapped and I would be happy with a place.
Today’s Turffontein meeting is on the Standside track. Race 1 is a Juvenile Plate and your guess is as good as mine. Often these races are won by the horse with the best start. Also keep an eye on the betting.
Race 2 is a Maiden Plate and Cyber Magic looks a possible BiPot banker. She is still a maiden but has run in feature races. However, she is coming off a long rest so therefore include Mess, just to be on the safe side.
Race 3 is another Maiden Plate over 2000m and my first selection is Just A Jet. She has had only one start and has placed. Unfortunately she has a bad draw and for that reason you could include Cidada, Geosphere and the horse I rode last time, Sheema. Last time she was still very green and didn’t know what it was all about. When the other horses started tiring we had nowhere to go, so she could still improve.
Race 4 is another Maiden Plate and here we find the best bet of the day in Arlington. I rode him last time when he was fitted with blinkers. Initially he over raced on the Inside track and with the short straight, track he took too long to get going. This time over 1600m on the Standside track with pole position, he is a banker in all bets.
Race 5 is a competitive field but the in-form horse has to be Baracah. He won last time with ease and second-placed Duzi Moon franked the form. As Baracah is eight years old I can’t make him a banker so for that reason include Belenos and Trip To Paradise, although both could be suspect over the distance. So add in Bush Pilot as well as he is a young improving sort.
Put all in the PA and for the Pick 6 include Henry Higgins, Frappachino, Let It Rain Dromedaris, and possibly Revelation, as on best form he could produce at a big price.
Race 6 is another tricky affair as it is a Fillies’ Handicap, so consider Tiger Flame, Tobesuretobesure and Bonne Vie in the PA. For the Pick 6 you could include Dawn Flight as well.
Race 7 is more of the same but I’m leaning towards Green Crest. I rode her over 1400m last time and she struggled to keep up with the pace. The extra 200m will suit her. As she has had many chances to win I would consider including Silver Duchess and Polly Wolly Doodle. Those three should suffice for the PA. For the Pick 6 consider Pearl Valley, Lighthouse Lady, Gold Shades and Tangerine Lady.
Race 8 is the Listed Secretariat Stakes for three-year-olds with many up-and-coming colts hopping to make a mark. The horse with the best form is Act Of Loyalty but he has a bad draw. Therefore include Copper Pot, who when I rode him last time out, accelerated really smartly.
Others with huge reputations are Romi’s Boy, Clever Guy and Captain Von Trapp. For the PA go with Copper Pot and Act Of Loyalty and one of the others mentioned. For the Pick 6 you need to include all of those mentioned and whoever else you may fancy.
Race 9 is a Pinnacle Stakes and generally your highest rated horse should win. In this instance I will go with Champagne Haze, who is rated second best behind Will Pays. He should be perfectly prepped for this race and over this course and distance the draw makes a difference. He is therefore my PA banker and could even be a Pick 6 banker.
If you need to include others consider Will Pays and Bulleting Home but another possibility could be Captain Aldo. I think he’s running over his best distance and he now has a nice draw compared to his last run. The St John Gray stable is also in top form.
Race 10 is a yet another difficult Fillies’ Handicap and I’m leaning towards Wrecking Ball, Spring Wonder and Fresh to fight it out. Their dangers could be Pool Party and Lady Starlett.
Race 11 is a Maiden Plate with no strong form. It could be worth following lightly raced Antakya who could make the most improvement. The danger could be Goodness Me who has a 4kg claimer up.