I flew down to Cape Town on Thursday morning to gallop Last Winter who is my ride for the Sun Met on Saturday 27 January.
He had his final grass gallop just to help him keep ticking over and stay fit. I can’t say he blew me away with his work but apparently he does not show a lot at home and does not do much except just enough to win the gallop.
He worked over 900m at Kenilworth with Cape Speed who is more of a 3000m runner and managed to beat him just 0.50 lengths. But it does look like Dean Kannemeyer has him in top condition and now we just have to hope he is good enough to beat these horses at weight for age and has a bit of luck from No 20 draw.
I was busy mounting my horse at the Vaal on Wednesday when two of the jocks told me I was drawn at No 20. I thought they were just joking because I could not believe it could happen to me again.
When I found out they were telling the truth all I could say to them was “it’s my lucky draw”, after all I won the Durban July twice from No 20 draw.
We’ve all been ba ling with the heat in Joburg recently so it was a nice gesture from the stipendiary stewards to go out later so we don’t have to stand out in the heat for long before we take horses to the start.
Having said that, it’s also quite hot in Cape Town as well and I’m hoping it cools down because I have 10 rides at the meeting. We race at Turff ontein today and Race 1 is a Maiden Juvenile Plate.
Pieces Of Gold has the best form but unraced horses make the assessment diffi cult. Corne Spies has a good record with his juveniles and Rule The Night could be the right one.
The same applies to Race 2. Of the raced runners Melarado looks best but once again take note of the unraced Spies horse Miss Khalifa and possibly Hear The Trumpet who is a Var filly and they are o en quite precocious and run well early in their careers. Race 3 is a Maiden Plate and the fi rst leg of the Place Accumulator.
The horse we all have to beat is Hero’s Honour. He has the strongest form but unfortunately has a wide draw and is racing over 1600m for the fi rst time.
There has also been a bit of a whisper for unraced Azzie runner Manha an Cocktail. They could be the two for the PA.
Others to consider could be Finding Troy, but he has not raced for a while, and my ride, Greto, who could enjoy the extra distance. Race 4 is a handicap with many horses having chances.
My fi rst selection is Shukamisa with Chepardo and perhaps my ride, Kings Archer, to chase him home. Another to consider is Fareeq who is drawn in pole position.
For the PA go with Shukamisa, Chepardo and Kings Archer and add the Fareeq into the Pick 6. Race 5 is another handicap but this time for three-year-olds. They are still young so some could improve considerably on form. But I’m leaning towards Alshibaa as the banker of the day.
He ran in a feature last time where he over raced. He is now running over a shorter trip which should enable him to relax a lot better. There are others who you could consider like Yakeen, Harlan County and Full Of A itude. For me, however, Alshibaa is a banker in all bets.
Race 6 is a fi llies handicap over 3200m and most of these runners have not raced over this trip so only the race will tell who the best of the best stayers will be. However, on form consider Arte, Eversilver, Cranberry Crush and Just A Jet.
For the PA pick as many as you can of those mentioned but it would be wise to put the field in the Pick 6. Race 7 is another handicap but this time I’ve narrowed it down to two horses, Mujallad and Splendid Garden.
You could consider banking Mujallad in the PA. In the Pick 6 add Splendid Garden and perhaps the two younger horses, Vicomte and Boatswain.
Race 8 is another handicap where many horses have chances. You could quite easily consider the field for the Pick 6 but my main fancies are Fidelio, The Tin Man, Lauren Of Rochelle and The Shredder.
All of those need to go into the PA and possibly put the fi eld in the Pick 6. But if I had to narrow it down I would consider Unchained Melody, Thewaywemakem, Exclusively Trendy and Mr Rambo. Race 9 is another diffi cult handicap but as it is over 1400m I am going to lean towards the runners with good draws.
My first selection is Lock Him Up who is having his third run after a rest and finally has a good draw. As he is known to over race, this shorter distance should be right up his alley.
Others to consider are Gaisce Gold and Timeo hevikings but he does not have a good draw. The horse who is much better than this field on ability is Copper Pot but he will need to produce his best form.
Go with all of them for the PA and for the Pick 6 you should also consider Flexible Fugitive, Code Writer, Carve The Turkey and Sabre Dance.
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