The big day is finally here and I am off to Cape Town today to ride in the R5-million Sun Met over 2000m at Kenilworth.
We all know there’s been a drought in Cape Town but when I went down last week to work my ride, Last Winter, the track had been watered and was in good condition. We’re probably going to have a fair and firm track which will be running fast.
For the first time the Met will be run under strict weight-for-age conditions which means your top merit-rated horses are weighted to win. Therefore the main contenders have to be Legal Eagle, Captain American, Marinaresco and Sail South.
Some of them have bad draws, which obviously will affect their chances. I would consider any of those for the Place Accumulator. You could even take a chance and banker Legal Eagle as he has been consistent and has beaten all of these horses on a consistent basis.
If those are not good enough for the Pick 6 you could consider Copper Force, as he was not beaten far by Legal Eagle, and my ride, Last Winter, even though he’s badly handicapped and has the worst of the draw. He is lightly raced and could improve but had this been a handicap he would have got a further 6.5kg which is a six lengths advantage. I’m hoping for big improvement and realistically we would be happy with a place, but we will be trying all out to win the Cape’s premier race.
In Race 2 I’m riding Carlita, a juvenile who won easily first time out but that was a race in Port Elizabeth so we don’t know how good she will be against stronger opposition. She’s drawn No 1 which means she will be loaded first and that could result in her having to wait for everybody else to get into their starting stalls and maybe she won’t jump well again.
Race 4 is the CTS 1200m and top rated horses are Dutch Philip, Sand And Sea and Magical Wonderland. I ride Desert Rhythm. He is well held on form and I would be happy with a place.
Race 5 is the CTS 1600 and we have a couple of young colts and my first selection is Cot Campbell. He has the highest merit rating and last time he came from a long way back in a Grade 1 race so on that basis he could be a PA banker. For the Pick 6 others to consider are Undercover Agent, Rocket Countdown and Vaquero.
I ride Ancestry who has not produced what he promised as a two-year-old so I would be delighted with a place.
Race 6 is the Cape Flying Championship and best handicapped horse is Trip To Heaven. Unfortunately his last run was below par so consider Search Party, Sergeant Hardy and possibly the young three-year-olds who are Naafer, Alfolk and Bold Respect.
I ride Attenborough who will probably find this a bit tough for him.
Race 7 is the Investec Derby and there are some top class three-year-olds with the main runners being Eyes Wide Open, Tap O’ Noth, Pack Leader, Like A Panther and White River.
Tap O’ Noth beat some top horses in the Cape Guineas and has a good draw but the others were all closing in on him and could be better over the distance.
I ride Fresnaye who is taking on the colts and also has a bad draw. I’m quite sure she will stay the 2000m which is a benefit and I could place in this field.
Race 8 is the Grade 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes and Snowdance, who is the top rated filly, looks a street above the rest and is a banker in all bets. I ride Gimme Six who could place but has a bad draw.
Race 10 is the Heineken Cape Stayers over 2800 and as a stakes race the best handicapped horse should have the advantage. Alghadeer is the top weighted horse but he received his rating in a minor centre. Whether he is good enough only the race will tell but he needs to be included. Consider Mr Winsome and Fortissimo on rating but the young up-and-coming horse who could surprise is Ollivander.
I ride Captain Splendid who is not well handicapped and I would be happy with a place.
There is also racing at Turffontein today and in Race 2 there are a number of unraced runners but the two with the best form are Generous Notion and Cop Shop.
Race 3 is the first leg of the Place Accumulator and we have a banker in Poormanslady, especially as she has the benefit of No 1 draw in this race over 1400m.
Race 4 is another Maiden Plate and is also competitive for the PA. So pick between Bourbon Bouquet, Good Golly, Nautic Spirit and the filly I rode last time Saragon, but she night find it a bit on the short side.
Race 5 is another Maiden Plate but here we have a banker in Mario Lanza. On form he is not way ahead of this field but as he is still a young horse he has more scope for improvement and should get you through.
Race 6 is over 2400m and the horses who should see you through are Blackball and Walter Smoothie.
Race 7 is a small but tricky field although Go Direct, Top Shot and Amsterdam should be enough.
In Race 8 we have a possible banker in Radiant Splendour. She won her only start, has a decent reputation and has lots of room for improvement.
Race 9 is the Sun Met so you could go with Legal Eagle.
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