Trainer Andre Nel has finally got his string in top form after a lengthy spell in the doldrums and it could pay to follow him at Kenilworth tomorrow.
It is worth noting he has given five rides to Bernard Fayd’Herbe and when you have your money down, he is one jockey you want to have on your favoured horse.
The best two could be Metro- politan in Race 5 and Dalibhunga in Race 7.
Quite honestly, I thought I was being a bit of a shrewdy to find Metropolitan but the bookies are too sharp and they have opened this son of Silvano as the 22-10 favourite for this Maiden Plate over 2400m. The “Fayd’Herbe factor” probably has a lot to do with that but at first glance the form is pretty ordinary.
He has raced just three times and his best performance was a 5.50-length fourth behind Arabian Air. However, that was over 1200m, as was his debut run. Last time Nel tried him over 1600m with Gareth Wright in the irons and he opened at 9-2 in the betting but drifted to 6-1. He did play up a bit, which did not make life easy for his jockey, and in the end finished sixth of the 11 runners, beaten 6.65 lengths.
He is by Silvano out of a Fort Wood mare, Dumani, and should benefit from this extra distance. He does not meet a particularly strong field and as many of his six rivals have had plenty of chances, Metropolitan definitely has the most room for improvement.
By way of contrast, Dalibhunga has very good exposed form and is a three-time winner from just 11 starts. He runs in a MR 76 Handicap over 1200m and could very well turn out to be a banker in all bets for those with restricted spending money.
This is also the first time Fayd’Herbe gets aboard this four- year-old gelding but there was a lot to like about his last win – also over 1200m – in which he took the lead shortly after the start and kept on resolutely to hold off Jay Rock by 1.50 lengths. That was run in soft going which could be relevant as they have had a lot of much needed rain in the Cape and the going is likely to be wet once again.
One concern might be the No 1 draw as racing down the straight in Kenilworth the best position to race is often unpredictable. However, by Race 7 Fayd’Herbe will have ridden enough races on the track to know where the best go- ing will be.
Would you like to place a bet on the horses? Click here to get started in 3 easy steps.