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The Johan Janse van Vuuren Second Base (Gimmethegreenlight) showed his class over an ideal course and distance to win the Grade 2 Colorado King Stakes over 2000m at Turffontein Standside yesterday to give high-flying Keagan de Melo yet another winner.
De Melo dropped the rangy four-year-old bay gelding to last from a wide draw but he was able to stride out off a good pace set by Shangani (Soft Falling Rain).
He turned for home about five lengths back together with Sparkling Water (Silvano).
De Melo took him down the inside.
Johnny Hero (Gimmethegreenlight) fortunately came off the rail and Second Base then had a clear run and had soon hit the front before staying on resolutely.
Sparkling Water ran on well too down the outside but began hanging in and slightly hampered Zillzaal (Silvano), who was staying on from midfield.
Zillzaal had to switch outward and was making strong late progress to overtake Sparkling Water but he came just too late to catch Second Base.
Second Base won by 0,25 lengths and there was a further 0,25 lengths back from Zillzaal to Sparkling Water in third.
Johnny Hero was next best but was beaten four lengths.
Shangani was fifth and his Hollywoodbets July final field aspirations are now looking forlorn.
Second Base was weighted out of the July last year as a three-year-old and wisely did not stand his ground.
However, this year he should sneak into the handicap with a low weight and is not without a chance off a merit rating which is unlikely to rise more than a couple of points, if at all, from the 116 he ran off yesterday.
Zillzaal ran his second good race in succession and was a touch unlucky. He should also sneak into the handicap in the July if he stays on 117.
Sparkling Water was entitled to need the run, her first since winning the Grade 2 New Turf Carriers Western Cape Stayers over 2800m on WSB Met day, and Mike de Kock confirmed in the build up she was only at about 85%.
She was receiving 1,5kg from the first two and running off 112 so might get a point or two.
De Kock will not mind that if her goal is the July, because as things stand she will need to be on 114 to be in the handicap and if she is in the handicap she will have more chance of making the final field.
However, the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge on April 30 could have an impact on their July weight if these three choose to run there and run well.
Picture: Second Base (nearest) holds on in the Colorado King Stakes (JC Photos).