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Equus Champion Two-year-old male from last season Good Traveller made a fine return to Hollywoodbets Greville by winning the Winning Form Pinnacle Stakes over 1000m, proving trainer Glen Kotzen’s plan to give him a sprint campaign a good move.

 
Kotzen has started his SA Champions Season in fine style and spoke recently about his chances, stating he was particularly strong in the two-year-old division.
 
He had said about Good Traveller, who won the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes over 1600m on Marhsalls World Of Sport Gold Cup day last year, “He showed glimpses of his two-year-old form in the Cape Season but we realised at Grade 1 level a mile is a touch far for him so we will be looking for a sprint route. He is a proper horse.”
 
Last night he travelled effortlessly from the off until the top of the straight after jumping from draw 6 in the Pinnacle Stakes event.
 
He turned for home in midfield with about five lengths to make up and ran on strongly.
 
He used long strides in the final 100m to beat Isivunguvungu by 0,70 lengths with the rest of the field well beaten. 
 
His big target for the season in the Grade 1 Golden Horse Sprint over 1200 at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on June 4 and it will be interesting to see what the handicappers are going to do to his 110 merit rating.   
 

Glen Kotzen had started off his SA Champions Season campaign in fine style by winning the Listed Kings Cup over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on April 3 with Cat Daddy and scoring two Grade 3 places in the three-year-old features on the same day.

He said about six-year-old Ideal World gelding Cat Daddy, who won the Kings Cup by 1,30 lengths carrying 57.5kg off a 101 merit rating, “He is a real little go getter who is as honest as the day is long. He is versatile and can go any trip from 1400m to 2000m. He can go on the poly or turf and loves the Greyville circuit, so we will keep him to the Listed or Grade 3 handicaps.”

It was a seventh win for Cat Daddy, who pounced at the top of the straight from a one out and one back position and kept on rolling down the straight under Craig Zackey.

Cat Daddy runs in the Listed WSB Sledgehammer over 1800m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville turf on Sunday. 

 

Kotzen won the first race on April 3, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m, with one of his most exciting two-year-olds, the big-actioned Twice Over colt Grinkov.

He had been coming off two third places in Listed and Grade 3 company over 1000m and 1200m at Kenilworth respectively.

Kotzen said, “That was way too short, he will be at his best over further and will be aimed at the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes.”

He was impressed with his Gimmethegreenlight colt Countdown’s 2,25 length victory over 1100m at Kenilworth on debut.

He said, “On the formgrids times he thumped the other two-year-old race time on the day and recorded a better time than the MR 96 Handicap and MR 80 Handicap, so it was very impressive. He is out of a Philanthropist mare who is a half-sister to Legal Eagle so will get a mile but his first main aim will be the Grade 1 Gold Medallion (on June 4).” 

Kotzen also rates his two-year-old maiden colt Cousin Casey (Vercingetorix), who finished just a quarter-of-a-length behind Grinkov when fourth second time out in a Listed 1000m event.

He said, “His mother by Casey Tibbs is a full sister to Big City Life so he will be a proper horse over ground.”

Of the unraced two-year-olds he has a gelding called Imposing, who is by Visionaire and is a three-parts brother to Good Traveller.

He has two juveniles by his stalwart Grade 2-winning Cape Guineas runner up Gold Standard (Trippi) and said, “The one is a filly owned by Gaynor Rupert called Hold My Hand. She is out of a Holy Roman Emperor mare and looks useful. The other one is a filly we bred ourselves called Alice And The King (out of three-time-winning Royal Air Force mare Cathy Specific).”

He said all of his two-year-olds should be looked out for this season.

In the Grade 3 Umzimkhulu Stakes on April 3 his Jackson filly Kailene finished a 1,40 length second under Rachel Venniker and he said, “She prefers this shorter straight and in Cape Town did not enjoy going in an anti-clockwise direction.”

In the Grade 3 Byerley Turk that day his Soft Falling Rain gelding Never Ending Rain did well to finish a 2,90 length third under Robert Khathi considering he was caught three wide the whole way.

He said, “He is a really smart horse and we will enter him in the July and hope he qualifies.”

Kotzen is hoping his 110 merit rated Dynasty gelding Crimson King could get into the July carrying bottom weight and said races like the WSB 1900 would be on his agenda.

He has left his three-year-old Pathfork gelding Chollima in Cape Town for the time being but has hopes for him.

He said, “We should have gelded him earlier. He ran 0,40 lengths back last time over 2000m carrying 61.5kg in his second run after gelding. He will stay in Cape Town for the second leg of the Winter Challenge and if he recaptures the form he had as a two-year-old he could get into the July at the bottom of the weights.”

 

Picture: Good Traveller winning last night (Candiese Lenfrena Photography).