Red Palace strolls to victory last time out and Candice Bass-Robinson rates her as “quite special”, although she expects stablemate Beach Bomb to be right there too in the WSB Cape Fillies Guineas on Saturday (Picture: Wayne Marks)
Charles Dickens is all set for his second run of the season in the Gr 2 WSB Green Point Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday and the Candice Bass-Robinson yard also have one other contender in that race, Firealley, plus three runners in the day’s headliner, the Gr 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas.
Candice said about the superstar Trippi colt Charles Dickens, “It is a stepping stone for the L’Ormarins King’s Plate. He’s doing well, he’s looking well and he’s working well. I expect him to run well but it’s not an easy race, it’s a tough little race.”
Charles Dickens is drawn seven out of eight but being caught without cover did not stop him from finding his usual acceleration last time in the Gr 3 Hollywoodbets Matchem Stakes over 1400m, which he won on weight for age terms by a narrow 0,30 lengths from the top class Gimme A Prince.
He is now out to make it two from two this season and will be bidding for his tenth career win in his twelfth start.
The bookmakers are taking no chances and Hollywood have him at 7/20.
Second favourite is his rival See It Again, who beat him by 1,25 lengths in the Splashout Cape Derby over 2000m, but whom he subsequently beat by two lengths over this trip in the Gr 2 WSB Guineas.
The 17/1 fourth favourite Al Muthana is the other horse who has beaten Charles Dickens, by a neck in the L’Ormarins King’s Plate over 1600m, but he gained revenge on that one too, beating him by 1,40 lengths in the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge, also over 1600m.
Equus Horse Of The Year Princess Calla, whose victories last season included the Gr 1 Ridgemont Garden Province Stakes over 1600m, is the third favourite at 6/1.
Perennial bridesmaid At My Command is 20/1 together with the Gold Rush winner Royal Aussie.
Rascallion, winner of the Gr 2 Anthonij Rupert Wyne Premier Trophy over 1800m, is 25/1 and Charles Dickens’ stablemate Firealley is the biggest outssider at 33/1.
Candice said Firealley was well but added, “He is a bit out of his depth, but there is nothing really for him to run in at the moment.”
It s going to be an intriguing race and not at all a walk in the park for Charles Dickens and his regular pilot Aldo Domeyer.
The Drakenstein Stud homebred Trippi colt’s time for the Gold Challenge was 95.94 seconds compared to Princess Calla’s 96.74 seconds in the Garden Province over the same course and distance, although they were on different days.
Bass-Robinson runs Red Palace, Beach Bomb and Distant Winter from draw seven, draw 12 and draw 14 out of a field of 14 in the Gr 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas.
Anthony Andrews rides Red Palace because his parents Terry and Annabel Andrews have a half share in her.
Candice said. “If Aldo had a choice I think he probably would have chosen Red Palace.”
Aldo still has a good ride on Beach Bomb.
Candice said about the diminutive Lancaster Bomber filly Beach Bomb, who is a daughter of the five-times Gr 1-winning heroine Beach Beauty, “I know she will definitely get the trip. She is in good shape, she will be right there.
She said about the Potala Palace filly Red Palace, ” She is a sneaker, she has never raced in this class before, but she is a very nice filly and her last two wins have been very impressive. She could be anything and must definitely be included.”
Red Palace had to be scratched last time because her foot got stuck in the gate after kicking it, but Candice believes it only happened because a horse walked in behind her. Howver, she will go in to te gates last this time.
She said about What A Winter filly Distant Winter, “She is drawn very wide, which is tricky, and the mile is always just a little bit of a question mark for her.”
Candice, asked who the stable elect was, replied, “I think Red Palace, but I’m not sure because she hasn’t been exposed, so I’m just going on watching her work and what she looks like and her last two wins. I think she is quite a special filly. The slow pace didn’t suit Beach Bomb at all last time, but she’s come on a lot from that run. She will enjoy the long straight at HWB Kenilworth. She comes from off them and will be hoping for a bit of pace. I just wish they had better draws, their draws are not exactly great.”
Candice rates October Morn as having a good chance in the Gr 2 Southern Cross Stakes over 1000m.
She said about the Trippi daughter of 1000m specialist October Morn (Var), “She was a bit out of her ground last time, she was slow into stride and was a bit too far back. She will better off up the straight.”
This three-year-old filly has class and a a lot of speed. She was flying late last time over 1000m in the Listed Laisserfaire Stakes at Hollywoodbets Durbanville and lost by 0,30 lengths giving the winner Baltic Secret 2,5kg. She is drawn 9 out of 14 with Domeyer up.
Stablemate Gimme’s Lassie is drawn two and has Craig Zackey up.
Candice said about the four-year-old, “She’s also doing well. I think she will run well here. She’s one of those who is always in the money. She’s just a little bit below that level but she has a high rating, so there’s nowhere else to put her in either.”
The Southern Cross is a a weight for age plus penalties event but as it happens the four-year-olds are all carrying 60kg and the three-year-olds all 56kg.