Pomp And Power (Picture: Wayne Marks).
Leg 2 of the Western Cape Winter Series takes place at 15h50 Saturday afternoon at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth in a cross-generational challenge over 1800m. The World Sports Betting Legal Eagle Stakes (Grade 3) pits ten closely matched, quality runners in a puzzler for horseplayers.
Pomp and Power is best weighted based on official merit ratings. He mixes his form and is not one to bet the ranch on, yet he will be a winning hope if repeating his remarkable Met run when coming from dead last to get within a length of Jet Dark or reprising his excellent 2022 Cape Derby victory.
Other Justin Snaith trained stable mates – the three-year-olds Rockpool and It’srainingwilliam plus older horse, Hoedspruit, must be taken seriously too. Richard Fourie’s mount, ante-post favourite, Rockpool, won the Politician Stakes over this course/trip and is potentially quick over middle distances.
It’srainingwilliam could get the run of this race, tracking likely controlling speed, Baratheon. He’s not a straightforward character and tends to hang but is at least as talented as high-class Royal Aussie on their Gold Rush clash.
Hoedspruit has found form again after a spell in the doldrums – he loves 1800m and should get into the mix, too.
Gem King is intriguing at double-digit odds. He won this race last year when it was restricted to three-year-olds, flashing an impressive turn of foot. He’s since been pitched high by trainer Piet Steyn into Grade 1 races. He’s been stiff a few times this year when having trouble running and is capable of a big wake-up if getting a hassle-free trip under high % reinsman Aldo Domeyer.
Glen Kotzen saddles Han Solo, stable stalwart Cat Daddy and the up-and-coming King Regent, who has a chance to Itsrainingwilliam on their Gold Rush tussle. Han Solo usually launches a late charge but has altered his running style recently and may go handier from draw 1.
That leaves Andre Nel’s consistent stayer, Master Redoute, who will need a pace meltdown (which seems unlikely) to threaten. This will be one tricky race to solve, and exotic players may need to cast a wide net to stay alive..