The connections of this Australian-bred have always held him high esteem but he would sometimes shirk his task when approaching the finishing line. Trainer Mike de Kock felt they had no option but to geld him and that little piece of surgery was performed in March this year.
Since then he has only raced in KwaZulu-Natal and has not performed too badly. He opened with a 1.70-length fourth behind talented stablemate Rock Cocktail, and during the winter season he contested two feature events.
He ran on well to finish a 2.25-length fifth behind River Crossing in the Grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup and followed up with a 1.55-length fourth behind talented Master Plan in the Grade 3 Mango 2200 on Durban July day after trying to lead all the way. Last time out he won a MR 97 Handicap at Scottsville, getting up late to beat Mercurial Brave by 0.15 lengths.
Unfortunately one ailment that does not seem to have been cleared up is his tendency to make a respiratory noise. However, looking at his performances, it does not seem to be affecting him too badly and the slightly dryer air of the Highveld might help that condition.
He has not raced for 107 days and De Kock must have some plans for him over the upcoming season, but he has run well after a layoff before.
Keagan Latham takes the ride.
The main danger looks like being the up-and-coming Fulcrum. He is hard to asses as he has only raced three times for a win and two places. His lone victory came up the straight at the Vaal over 1600m, and in both of his runs around the turn the Weiho Marwing-trained runner has raced greenly. Once he has straightened up, Fulcrum as run on strongly but has not been able to make up the ground.
Hopefully the four-year-old son of Captain Al has been able to gain more experience and will not give jockey S’manga Khumalo too many problems.
Fulcrum carries just 53.5kg and we should know a lot more about his ability after this race.