Soqrat. Picture: JC Photographics
The next exciting instalment of the current must-watch series involving South Africa’s remarkable generation of top racehorses is scheduled for Kenilworth racecourse and the Sun Met on 1 February.
Horses who played their part in a dramatic and controversial L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at the weekend remain among the 21 entries for the Sun Met after the final supplementary entry stage on Monday 13 January – with one notable exception.
Soqrat, a multiple Grade 1 winner, has been scratched by trainer Mike de Kock following the colt’s disappointing showing in the 1600m Queen’s Plate. A 25-minute delay to the start of the race got the Aussie-bred agitated and sweating heavily before entering the starting gate – a negative factor for any runner.
However, De Kock has left in his other titan, Hawwaam, who started as odds-on favourite but also ran out of the places in that sensational mile contest – won by up-and-comer Vardy from Adam Marcus’s stable.
Dual Durban July champion Do It Again was another fallen hero on the day, performing well below expectations after a hiccup in preparation. However, it looks likely he will get a chance to redeem his reputation in the 2000m Met, with trainer Justin Snaith not only keeping him among the entries but accepting to run at a very early stage – and even declaring ace jockey Richard Fourie to partner him.
There were no supplementary entries at the final stage, despite some speculation that De Kock’s brilliant filly Queen Supreme might be added to the list after her sparkling win in the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes on Saturday.
There were five scratchings from the Met nominations, namely Soqrat and four from Andre Nel’s yard: Kampala Campari, Capoeira, Run Red and Vikram.
Nel has accepted to run stable star Head Honcho, who is merit-rated 126 – just below the top six who are still among the noms: Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge, Vardy, Hawwaam, One World and Twist Of Fate.
One World ran second to Vardy in Saturday’s Grade 1, with Rainbow Bridge in third, Twist Of Fate fourth, Hawwaam fifth and Do It Again sixth. The latter was only 4.30 lengths adrift of the winner at the line.
All these brilliant horses are capable over the extra 400m of the Met, so a reprise of the battle royal is in store – hopefully without the controversy.
Racing circles have been abuzz with argument and counter-argument over the delay to the Queen’s Plate start – due to two horses having to be reshod after losing shoes in the preliminaries, and no fewer than three bridles needing replacement or adjustment.
Hot-pot favourite Hawwaam, notorious for his pre-race shenanigans – which saw him chuck off a rider in the Turffontein parade ring and injure himself in the Durban July starting machine – was just one of the Kenilworth runners expending nervous energy while standing around waiting for the action to begin.
SUN MET BETTING
6-1 Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge
18-1 One World
20-1 Shango, Twist Of Fate
30-1 Head Honcho
35-1 Bunker Hunt
40-1 and upwards the others
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.
BACK TO CITIZEN
BACK TO PREMIUM
The Citizen. All rights