OUR headline image shows the heart-stopping finish to last year’s Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth in which Rainbow Bridge, Do It Again and Undercover Agent all finished within bobbing heads of each other and the winner, Legal Eagle.
All but Legal Eagle, and with the inclusion of the leading three-year-olds Soqrat and Cirillo, will contest Saturday’s race. All their trainers have described them as champions, and they sure all are, to varying degrees. All the camps have expressed confidence this week.
Peter Muscutt, assistant to trainer Brett Crawford, said about Undercover Agent: “I think he is better on a righthand track and Greyville is far more suitable for him as a forward going horse than Kenilworth. They have got to come and get him.”
Justin Snaith said of Do It Again: “He is doing very well, he looks amazing and everything has gone to plan. He is a top, top horse, a champion.
Mike de Kock saddles Soqrat and commented: “He’s had a long season but shows no signs of it. He is very well, there are other top horses in the race but he could be all over them!”
Cirillo was a part of the three-cornered finish in the Drill Hall Stakes over 1400m, where Undercover Agent kept his head in front of a flying Rainbow Bridge and trainer Sean Tarry said: “Cirillo has a lot to do at the weights, but he is in fine shape, a big runner.”
Rainbow Bridge, likely to start favourite, did pace work at Summerveld earlier this week and trainer Eric Sands commented: “He has definitely come on since his second in the Drill Hall Stakes. He now knows Greyville and he strips fitter.”
For us, Sands’ comments are key. If Rainbow Bridge has improved a few lengths since the Drill Hall, he has them at his mercy here. He would have won the Drill Hall in just one more stride, not even a shadow of doubt about that, and on the way he ran on that evening, he would have been two lengths clear in another 100m.
The one concern is that Rainbow Bridge always seems to get flat-footed halfway down the straight, he is onepaced for a few strides before he picks it up and “motors”. If that happens again tomorrow, the mercurial Do It Again can get his head up first, though he is also prone to momentarily treading water before he takes off.
Does that leave the door open for Undercover Agent and the three-year-olds, who all waste no time in galloping at full pace and always sustain their efforts with no interruption?
Possibly. The race will show. (Ja, ja, the sun will shine, or it will be cloudy). We think Rainbow Bridge will win this encounter, but that blanket remains a prop well advised for this spectacle!