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Dean Kannemeyer is hoping for a good pace in the Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge on Saturday where he runs his Grade 1 Cape Guineas winner Russian Rock.
 
The quirky son of Pomodoro has only won one race since his Cape Guineas win in December 2020 and Kannemeyer said, “He is a lovely natured horse but can just be a little headstrong. But if there is a good pace and he is able to relax in a race it becomes a completely different ball game as he showed in the Cape Guineas and in the IOS Drill Hall Stakes last time. He ran a very good race in the Drill Hall there and was actually unlucky. Keagan had a nice position when the rider on his inside could not hold Captain Fontane and he came out and pushed him three wide. Keagan managed to get him back in and relaxed again and he ran on well and only got beaten a longhead. We’re up against the heavyweights now but he has come on from that run and is in tip top shape. He has a nice draw and I just hope there is pace on so he can relax. He has loads of ability.”
 
Kannemeyer pointed out with concern that the pace of races had tended to be slow lately at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
 
However, Crown Towers usually ensures a good pace and hopefully that will be the case on Saturday.
 
Kannemeyer is trying to qualify Russian Rock for the Hollywoodbets Durban July.
 
He said, “I told the owners if he doesn’t shape here he’s got no chance. He will have to finish at least in the 
first three.”
 
Meanwhile, Waterberry Lane (Soft Falling Rain) is doing well and he hoped his close up fourth in the Daily News 2000 would have been enough for him to get into the July. 
 
He said there had  always been a bit of a stamina doubt about him but he did finish the Daily News 2000 off well so had hope he would see out the 200m extra in the July.
 
On Saturday he runs a few others with chances including Mount Anderson (pictured above) in the Grade 3 Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cup Trial.
 
He said, “He’s doing very well and holding form. He won the Sledgehammer over this course and distance. Then I put him tothe test in the Grade 2 WSB 1900 and he surprised me by running second to a good horse (Do It Again). He is in tip top shape and is thriving. It’s a competitive race but he must have a shout.”
 
He runs Bright Green, a first-timer colt by Gimmethegreenlight in the first race over 1200m and said, “I think if he doesn’t run too green he could be in the first four.”
 
He runs USA’s Hope (The United States) in the second over 1200m and said, “He’s a big horse and will probably need the run.”
 
He runs the Rafeef colt Ready Or Not in the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes over 1400m.
 
On debut over 1600m he lost his poosition temporarily on the turn in midfield and was caught wide for a bit. However, he  then produced a resolute finish and was doing his best work late for a good third.
 
Kannemeyer said, “I am bringing him back in trip but Keagan thinks he can get away with it.”
 
Picture: Russian Rock (Wayne Marks)