The weight structure of the Grade 3 Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup will make the defending champion Nebraas hard to beat, although Aragosta has plenty of class and brings the unknown factor with him having won his only start over a staying trip, the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2450m. 
 
The minimum weight this year has been changed to 54kg, which will make it a touch easier for topweight Nebraas.
 
Furthermore, the weights are compressed.
 
This means that despite the weight for age allowance at this time of the year over 3200m being 3.5kg for three-year-olds, Aragosta will only receive 2.5kg from Nebraas.
 
Nebraas has beaten his stablemate Black Thorn twice this season in Grade 3s over 2850m and 3200m giving the latter 6kg and 8kg respectively.
 
He will now only have to give him 6kg over the 3200m trip.
 
Black Thorn has franked Nebraas’s form by winning his next two starts, a MR96 Handicap over 1800m and then the Grade 3 DSTV Gold Vase over 3000m on Hollywoodbets Durban July day.
 
The secret to Nebraas’s Gold Cup win last year, besides his class, is that he stays every inch of the 3200m trip.
 
There are not may horses in today’s thoroughbred world, in which speed has become king, who can boast that credential.
 
Aragosta was a touch unlucky in the July as he was unable to find a clear passage in the straight, which would have enabled him to let down into his big stride.
 
He is by Equus Champion Sprinter Rafeef, but is out of a Galileo mare, so the race will tell whether he stays every inch of two miles.
 
Shangani is a classy stayer and beat Nebraas by a length on July 3 over 2400m when receiving only 2kg. However, he was raised four points and will now only receive 1kg. It is also a bit unfair on Nebraas to take that small field preparation race on face value, but on the other hand Shangani is an unknown quantity over 3200m.
 
Another former SA Derby winner, Out Of Your League, was a 1,25 length third last year carrying 56.5kg and he will only carry 54.5kg this year. He ominously bounced back to form last time out by finishing just half-a-length behind Nebraas in the aforementioned 2400m race when receiving 6kg.
 
Crimson King has good Cape Town staying form and is another one who will be a threat if proving to stay two miles.
 
Decorated is an interesting runner as he did not have much cover in the Grade 3 Track And Ball Derby over 2400m but still managed to surge back after looking likely to be swamped. He will only have to carry 54kg. 
 
Lamborghreeni was an expensive purchase and has won all three of his staying starts. If he gets in off his lowly 74 merit rating he will be interesting as a progressive sort who  stays all day.  
 
Picture: Nebraas After Last Year’s Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup (Candiese Lenferna). 

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