Candice Bass-Robinson said today Charles Dickens had just needed to be kept ticking over since his Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas victory and added “all is good” with him ahead of his date with destiny in tomorrow’s Grade 1 L’Ormarins King’s Plate.
She said, “He has had two races three weeks apart and now has another one three weeks later, so we have not had to do a lot with him.”
She said big race jockey Aldo Domeyer’s slimming regime to get down to 55kg had been going well and she expected him to just have to do some routine sweating before the meeting tomorrow morning.
The super star colt will achieve a few milestones if winning tomorrow.
Drakenstein Stud’s Gaynor Rupert has promoted this prestigious weight for age event since 2005 and has bred a winner before, but Charles Dickens will become the first King’s Plate/Queen’s Plate winner to have been owned by Drakenstein.
He will become the first Candice Bass-Robinson-trained King’s Plate/Queen’s Plate winner, although her father Mike Bass won it six times.
Two of Mike’s winners hold records, the legendary Pocket Power (Jet Master) being the only one to have won it four times (from 2006/2007-2009/2010) and his 1995 winner Counter Action (Complete Warrior) holds the official race record of 96.2 seconds.
Charles Dickens will become only the third three-year-old since the 1973 win of Yataghan to win this race, the others being Gimmethegreenlight in 2012 and Jet Dark in 2021, the latter pair both being trained by Justin Snaith.
Charles Dickens will make it three years in succession for Drakenstein Stud-bred sons of Trippi, as Jet Dark is also a Drakenstein Stud-bred Trippi and goes for a hattrick of wins in the big race.
The Bass-Robinson yard also run Trip Of Fortune, who had a setback a couple of weeks back when contracting a virus.
She said he had missed four or five days work and also had to do some light work afterwards.
However, she added he had bounced back well and currently his work was good and fresh.
She said, “It is not about fitness, it is more just about how much the virus knocked him back. Only the race will tell, but if it has not knocked him back he can be in the money.”
Meanwhile, Bass Robinson is happy with Marina, who will be out to notch her first Grade 1 victory in the Cartier Paddock Stakes over 1800m.
She felt the Silvano mare was unlucky not to win last year, as she had produced a strong finish and in another stride or two might well have got up.
She added, “She is a tall and rangy daughter of Silvano and I have always felt she would be better as a late four-year-old and five-year-old. She is handling her work much better this season. It is never easy to beat Captain’s Ransom and it is a top field overall, but I hope she has improved since last year and she will then be in with a big chance.”
The yard also run Echo Of Life in the Paddock Stakes and Candice felt it would be a tough ask for her.
However, she felt she had good all round chances the whole day.
She runs Golden Hostess, Santa Maria and Going Up in the Grade 2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes and felt they could all be in the mix.
She felt she could go close in the Franschoek Motor Museum Winchester Cup, where her chief candidate is Resonate and he is supported by African Rain, Barzalona and Mr Cobbs.
She also mentioned Arctic Drift as being “good value” in the last race, the Grade 3 Merchants On Long Chairman’s Cup over 2500m.