Sun Met celebrated with G.H.MUMM (Grade 1)
Do It Again is lightly raced and has been sensational this Cape season. He will be the one to beat on form, but there are some classy individuals and he will need to be at his best. Doublemint is as game as they come and extremely capable on his day. Made To Conquer is highly consistent and should be competitive, despite being out at the weights. Oh Susanna will have to be an absolute star to pull this off at the weights, which she is. She will give the boys plenty to think about.
The prep has gone very well for Rainbow Bridge. I’m happy with him, Anton (Marcus) is happy with him. I can’t tick any more boxes. He is better than the form in Queen’s Plate indicates because he may have jarred his leg. After the race we went back to the yard and you wonder what went wrong but I’m happy we found a problem. If we hadn’t found it I still would have been worried. As far as the extra 400m is concerned I don’t see a problem. He is by Ideal World and his dam won over 1800m. With runners like Kampala Campari, Head Honcho and Milton in the race there should be a decent pace but I don’t mind what sort of race it is. Anton has great hands, he plans well in advance and he knows what to do.
I plan to be more patient, more reserved, on Legal Eagle this year. That is probably the way to go, especially over this distance where he is a little more suspect. He has the ability to come from behind. He proved that when coming from way back to win a print over 1160m at Turffontein. If you look at his achievements he is probably the best horse in the race. He is still heaped with ability and for those who think he is past his best, he did beat all of those horses in the Green Point Stakes. I did all of his preparation up to the Green Point Stakes and I also went to Cape Town last week to gallop him. He’s doing very well. When you work him he is very laid back. He just does enough in gallops but you always feel there is another gear you can tap into when you need it. The dangers are obviously Do It Again. He’s had a flawless prep and this is his ideal trip, and Rainbow Bridge.
Undercover Agent is in good form and I’m very happy with him. The trip is a question mark, and he’s drawn poorly, but we are hopeful of a good effort.
Head Honcho is very, very, well and as fit as he can be. Ignore him at your peril. I’m not sure Kampala Campari really gets a true run 2000m, but his jockey (Aldo Domeyer) feels he does, and if so he has an outside place chance.
It’s been a bit strange for Eyes Wide Open because his prep has gone well but a couple of things have not worked out for us. We thought he would run a big race in the Peninsula Handicap but he was forced wide on the turn but when you look at do it again, it wasn’t a bad run. He gave the winner 6.5kg and when Gavin Lerena got off he admitted it was not his greatest ride but he obviously felt something positive because he was quick to confirm the ride in the Met and he did have other options. He also has been haemo-concentrating but in retrospect he has not had a bad prep. I make him a huge Place bet.
I’m very happy with where Tap O’ Noth is right now. I believe he is a far better horse than he was when winning the Guineas last year. I’m quite confident to be completely honest. If you look at the collateral form lines, he is always up there with the best. I think it is just nonsense when people say he can’t stay the 2000m trip. He was running on strongly in the Daily News (third behind Yulong Prince) – another eight strides and he probably gets up to win it. He stays.
Look I can’t say Milton will win it. It’s not an easy race but he has been working really well at home and I’m hopeful he’ll run a good race. To be completely honest I think he lacks class, but he more than makes up for that in heart – he is a fighter. Interestingly, he has run about eight or nine times over 1800 and further and has either won or finished second in half of those attempts, and he has won his only race over 2000m. I’m just hoping Milton has more runners behind him than he does in front of him come Saturday. We will not fiddle with how he’s been running. There is really no need to change the formula now – he loves going to the front, but so does Head Honcho and Kampala Campari which makes the race very interesting.
G-Bets Cape Derby (Grade 1)
Belgarion hasn’t put a foot wrong so far. He’s a class individual and has an Eachway shout. We’ve rated Bunker Hunt for quite some time. He is a classic type of horse and has winning claims in an open race. Knights Templar caught the eye last time and will enjoy the trip, but will need to produce his very best to feature.
Second Request is a vastly improving horse. Her two Cape runs were very pleasing and I think she will be in the money. She will be going for many of the three-year-old features. She’s drawn No 1 which could be an issue as she’s not the best out the gates but if she can be midfield rather than at the back of the field as she was in her last two, that will help a lot.
Santa Clara is very well and improving all the time. She’s not well drawn in what could be a rough race, but should get the trip and needs to be respected.
Charles is in great form, and will run a big race despite his poor draw. Hudoo Magic is far better than his last run, which you can ignore. Expecting a big effort. Senatla is honest, and ran a great race last time. He’s doing very well.
Lloyd George is a nice horse, and the type who will definitely get better as he gets older. He has a bad draw but a good jockey in Piere Strydom. Let’s see if he can step up to the plate.
Sailing Lizard will need some luck from draw No 20. He stays very well, and on ability can run a big race.
Everything went wrong for Herodotus in the Politician Stakes. Twist Of Fate took them all out and he still finished strongly to run fifth. If you like Belgarion, Senatla and Sailing Lizard, you have to give our horse a chance. We’re all drawn badly so we’re all in the same boat.
Although Thanksgiving has a merit rating of 97 he ran to about 107 when second to Hawwaam in the Dingaans. He does like to race from off them but the draw saves us from having to find a position. He will love the step up in trip and is a big runner.
Bidvest Majorca Stakes (Grade 1)
Obviously Front And Centre has excellent form, and I’m very happy with her. She’s in one of the strongest looking races of the day on ratings, and I’m looking forward to it.
Lady In Black’s form speaks for itself. She is obviously a huge runner in a very strong looking contest.
Love To Boogie is doing really well. She’s drawn wide, but I think she will be very competitive.
A mile (1600m) is Freedom Charter’s limit stamina-wise. She’s consistent and has a good draw, so shouldn’t be too far off them, but it’s a very strong race. Clouds Unfold may not be a miler but we had to have another try as things didn’t go her way in the Fillies Guineas. She should run a lot better this time.
Jonathan Snaith: Snowdance is capable of a lot better than her Queen’s Plate effort. We expect her to bounce back to her best, and make her the filly to beat. Lady In Black is the obvious danger in a serious, serious race. Miyabi Gold choked up last time, but will need to be at her very best to feature.
Betting World Cape Flying Championship (Grade 1)
Bold Respect is doing well, and needed his first two runs back in Cape Town. He would maybe prefer further, but is the obvious class horse here. Pacific Trader by contrast is a pure speed horse, and doing very well. Search Party had a good last run, and is capable of running a big race.
If the track is running fast it will be difficult for Dutch Philip, as he comes from off them. But there’s a lot of pace in the race, and a fresh southeaster is predicted, so things could well work in his favour if they go too quick.
Kasimir is a top-class individual, but that’s on the short side for him. He will run a massive race. Sergeant Hardy can beat the best on his day as when he won this race last year. He’s better than recent efforts and is upset potential. Sir Frenchie has disappointed of late but has surprised on the big days before, and tries blinkers again.
Trip To Heaven had a fantastic prep run. Those horses who beat him all had two runs going into the race where this was his first run back. He has run well for me and he is in a good space for an older horse. He is a runner!
You’ll see a different Sand And Sea this time. The race didn’t go to plan last time, and I expect a big effort.
Pleasedtomeetyou is doing very well, and is a true five-furlong (1000m) horse. But this race very tough for a three-year-old.
New Turf Carriers Stayers (Grade 2)
Ollivander is frustrating. Sometimes he doesn’t try too hard, so it depends which one turns up on the day. Benjan on the other hand is honest and consistent, but has a tough job at the weights, as do all of mine. Pacific Chestnut and Ballad Of The Sea both stay well, but this race looks tough for them.
Gimme One Night is in the form of his life, but this is far tougher at the weights. He stays well though so don’t rule him out.
If Elusive Silva returns to best he will be the one to beat but has been disappointing lately. He will relish the extra distance and shouldn’t be left out. Magnificent Seven needed his last run. If he stays the trip he will be right in the shakeup. Strathdon is well weighted. He is in great form and a serious runner. Ovidio returns from a year off. He is one of the best stayers in the country at best and if you are going wide in exotics, chuck him in.
Summer Juvenile Stakes 1000 (Listed)
Miss Honey is a nice filly, but faces a tough task at the weights. Vandah’s Spirit won very well on debut, and is talented. She now carries more weight and faces colts, so this will be more of a test.
Brandina is a little filly, but extremely quick. We’ll see if she’s good enough.
Cyber Blossom hasn’t done much wrong, but this is much stronger. She could have her work cut out.
Now that Winterwind has got into the race I will be riding her. This is her first start and she’s likely to race green but will get better with time.
The CTS 1200 (Non-Black Type)
Sacred Arrow is a smart horse, but may find 1200m a little sharp. We’ve put blinkers on, and he has an outside chance. Varsity Lover is difficult to assess, but we’re taking our chances against the colts.
Shamrock Wind is working very well but is in a tough race.
I rate Mastagambit – he’s very progressive. I’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t run well. I’m bringing Priceless Ruler back in trip. He’s a very nice horse, and won a good race last time.
Captainofthesea needs to repeat his penultimate run to have a real chance. He likes the course and distance, but Cirillo looks hard to beat. Clipper Captain has ability, but it’s a very tough ask for him. Frank Lloyd Wright is a class horse coming off a rest and gelding. He has upset potential if not needing it too much. Seventh Sea has solid course and distance form, and can fill a minor place.
I think Temple Grafin is a huge runner. Her form lines have been franked and her only bad run was in the Fillies Guineas where she was drawn No 13 of 13. She rushed around the field and compounded so now we have put her back up the straight. Only Cirillo is better weighted than her and he could be better over 1400m.
The CTS 1600 (Non-Black Type)
One World is also doing well and I’m very happy with him. I know some say he had no extra in the Guineas (third behind Soqrat), but I felt he was finishing stronger than the others. I’m really not worried about the wide draw (No 11). It actually suits him better – he likes to be up there anyway. I guess now we all find out how true that Guineas form line really is.
We didn’t want Chimichuri Run and Cirillo to bump heads and we were not too sure which horse should be where but on the dam’s side we felt Chimichuri Run could be the better over 1600m. And he’s got a great draw. I thought he had a flat run in the Cape Guineas. He has turn of foot and he didn’t show it on the day. When I went to gallop him I thought he had grown and filled out quite a bit. He should run well.
Majestic Mozart isn’t too far off the best. He’s in a tough race and not well drawn, but has a money chance. Nao Faz Mal may be out of his depth here, but he’s progressive and we’re hoping.
Vikram is in at the deep end but you only get one chance at this race, so we will take our chances.
Silvano’s Pride is in an extremely tough field but she’s a class filly and should run into contention.