Anthony Delpech, the former champion jockey and current Hollywood Syndicate manager, is one of the many who have begun comparing Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas favourite Charles Dickens to some of the best in history.
He said, “It is a very long time since I have seen a horse like that.”
He mentioned some of the others in the Cape Guineas field as “serious, proper horses” too and said the Hollywood-owned Grant Maroun-trained Anfields Rocket would “be up against the heavyweights.”
Delpech recently spoke of the need for Hollywood to get a Grade 1 horse.
It came sooner than expected as the Brett Crawford-trained Make It Snappy won Saturday’s WSB Cape Fillies Guineas.
However, Delpech knows all about winning Grade 1s, having won so many as a jockey, and tasting it again must have only brought a craving for more.
“That was just the first one,” he quipped.
Owen Heffer will be hoping to be present when Hollywood win their next Grade 1.
He could not make it to Hollywodbets Kenilworth on Saturday because he was at the wedding of his son Tyson.
It seems to be a good omen to have your son’s wedding on a Grade 1 race day as this also brought a first victory at the highest level for trainer Corrie Lensley with Alesian Chief in the Golden Horse Sprint earlier this year.
Anfields Rocket will be up against it on the 17th .
A more realistic Hollywood Grade 1 candidate could be Isivunguvungu.
The strongly built Peter Muscutt-trained sprinter proved himself best suited to the minimum trip on the last weekend of last season when slamming them in the Listed MWOS Umgeni Handicap on the poly.
He has not been seen since because it is not easy to find races for 110 rated 1000m horses.
Delpech said, “He is coming out in the next two or three weeks and has been doing really, really well.”
The chief targets for the What A Winter four-year-old gelding after one preparation run will likely be the Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship over 1000m on WSB Met day and the Grade 2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes over 1200m on February 25.
Delpech also has feature hopes for the progressive Imilenzeyokududuma after his impressive win over 1600m in his first start in Cape Town.
He is probably ideally looking for further, so the Grade 2 Peninsula Handicap and/or the Grade 2 Premier Trophy, both over 1800m, could be possible races for this four-year-old Dynasty gelding, although he will battle to get into those races off a 95 merit rating.
Meanwhile, Hollywood’s Willie Mullins-trained Ireland-based hurdler Il Etait Temps has a long term target of the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
“Owen absolutely loves jumps racing,” confirmed Anthony.