It looks a case of quality over quantity in this year’s R5-million Sun Met celebrated with G.H.Mumm (Grade 1) over 2000m at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday 26 January.
With the absence of possibly Buffalo Bill Cody and Hawwaam, probably the best horses in the country will line up for this Grade 1 race which is run on weight-for-age terms.
Heading up the field is Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again, who enhanced his chances with an imperious victory in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate 10 days ago.
Justin Snaith, who realised a dream last year when Oh Susanna handed him his first victory in the Met, trains this four-year-old son of Twice Over. Richard Fourie will take the ride.Of the 13 horses carded, Snaith trains four and that has given him some excellent back up.
He also will saddle last year’s winner, Oh Susanna, who will have Bernard Fayd’Herbe up this time, Durban July runner-up Made To Conquer with S’manga Khumalo aboard and Grade 2 Peninsula Handicap champion Doublemint, the mount of Piere Strydom.
The other trainer with more than one runner is Andre Nel who sends out Premier Trophy winner Head Honcho and Peninsula Han-dicap runner-up Kampala Campari.
Head Honcho was a runaway winner of the Premier Trophy and he, along with Milton, are likely to ensure there is a good pace.
Rainbow Bridge is the unknown quantity. The Eric Sands-trained runner was strongly fancied to win the Queen’s Plate but could only manage third place behind Do It Again and at level weights again many will be expecting the same result.
However, this is an extra 400m and that could change everything. In what turned out to be a game of musical chairs, Fayd’Herbe is off Rainbow Bridge to ride Oh Susanna while Anton Marcus jumps from Legal Eagle on to Rainbow Bridge. And what of Legal Eagle.
Recently usurped from his position of being the highest merit-rated runner in the country by Do It Again, the son of Greys Inn failed to win his fourth consecutive Queen’s Plate and in doing so ended a run of 10 unbeaten races over 1600m.
He has run in the Met three times for two second places and a fourth last year, when he was beaten just 1.65 lengths.
With Marcus now off , champion jockey Lyle Hewitson will take the ride on this 15-time winner and maybe he will be able to give the seven-year-old his first win in this race.
Gavin Lerena retains the ride on Eyes Wide Open who disappointed in the Peninsula Handicap.
However, he was beaten just 4.55 lengths by Doublemint and is now 6.5kg better off .
Undercover Agent ran second behind stable companion Captain America in the Grade 1 Champi-ons Cup over 1800m at Greyville last year so the 2000m should not be out of his compass and Brett Crawford’s charge will have his supporters.
The draws for barrier positions will be made tomorrow at a function in Cape Town.
Final field for the R5-million Sun Met celebrated with G.H.Mumm (Grade 1) over 2000m at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday 26 January. 1 – 0 LEGAL EAGLE (S G Tarry) L Hewitson 60.0 – 1212 – 0 HEAD HONCHO (W A Nel) K de Melo 60.0 – 1143 – 0 HAT PUNTANO (J Rams-den) D Dillon 60.0 – 1094 – 0 MADE TO CONQUER (S J Snaith) S Khumalo 60.0 – 1085 – 0 MILTON (W G Prestage) R Simons 60.0 – 1086 – 0 KAMPALA CAMPARI (W A Nel) A Domeyer 60.0 – 1077 – 0 DO IT AGAIN (S J Snaith) R Fourie 59.5 – 1258 – 0 UNDERCOVER AGENT (B Crawford) C Orff er 59.5 – 1209 – 0 RAINBOW BRIDGE (A E Sands) A Marcus 59.5 – 11910 – 0 TAP O’ NOTH (V H Mar-shall) M Byleveld 59.5 – 11211 – 0 EYES WIDE OPEN (G S Kot-zen) G Lerena 59.5 – 11112 – 0 DOUBLEMINT (S J Snaith) P Strydom 59.5 – 10413 – 0 OH SUSANNA (S J Snaith) B Fayd’Herbe 57.0 – 121Same Trainer: (2,6) (4,7,12,13)