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Picture: Charles Dickens being led in to the winner’s enclosure (Wayne Marks). 


The unbeaten Candice Bass-Robinson-trained Trippi gelding Charles Dickens was called “a special horse” in the build up to Saturday’s Grade 3 Cape Classic over 1400m by jockey Aldo Domeyer and after he had sauntered to another three length victory to make it four out of four Domeyer said, “He’s a jock’s treat, and an exhilarating ride.”

Commentator Jehan Malherbe also made an impactful statement, saying, “He’s rumoured to be a superstar – well, he’s on the way there”.
In his third win, Domeyer pointed at Charles Dickens and looked at the cameramen as he crossed the line and he later told an interviewer he was the only horse he got out of bed for in the morning. More words to take note of.
However, the good looking chestnut colt apparently did not do anything special on paper on Saturday.

Guru racing analyst, statistician and historian Jay August analysed Saturday’s Cape Classic and came to the following conclusion:

“My initial view is that he is about par for a good winner of this race. My rating of this race and previous ratings are (the best rating for the horse’s season is bracketed):
2022 Charles Dickens = 111 (?)
2021 Trip of Fortune = 106 (110)
2020 Seeking The Stars = 110 (113)
2019 Silver Operator = 109 (109)
2018 Twist of Fate = 112 (115)
2017 Tap ‘o Noth = 109 (112)
2016 Table Bay = 112 (112)”
Domeyer also said immediately after Saturday’s race Charles Dickens would still need to continue to improve to get to where he hoped he would reach, but he qualified this by saying he had all the right ingredients and was confident he would reach those heights. 
He added that the way he had won his last two starts made him believe the words of the horse’s trainer i.e. “His next start will probably be his best”.
Visually, Charles Dickens lives up to the billing of being special and appears better than the story of the stats. He was a touch keen in the early stages on Saturday, but that did not stop him showing impressive acceleration in the straight. His backers had no moments of anxiety and it was another win full of authority.    
The name of the trainer, Bass, is another reason why many around the country will be excited about this good looking chestnut.
The Bass yard have proved time and time again for decades to be masters of bringing on horses steadily to fulfil their potential as well as  masters of peaking horses for their big targets. 
The next big target is the Grade 1 R2 million Cape Guineas on December 17.