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Picture: Twice SA Champion Jockey Gavin Lerena aboard Kommetdieding, who had just become only the seventh horse in history to have won both the July and the Met (Wayne Marks).

If bookies have their sums right, the chance of a SA win in the UK is minimal.
Dubois is quoted at 1-6 and Lerena at 9-2. Punters will get much better odds for 2020 Durban July winner Kommetdieding, who showed his wellbeing with a second-place finish over 1,200m — a distance obviously short of his best.

“Kommet” is now around even money after the scratching of his perennial rival Jet Dark.

The last time the two five-year-olds met over 1,600m was in the Queen’s Plate at the beginning of the year when Jet Dark beat Kommet by two lengths. With Jet Dark sidelined Kommet has the race at his mercy.
However, the Crawford/Rix camp will be wary of a certain gentleman named Vaughan Marshall. His big-race runners always demand the closest scrutiny and that is the case this time too.

Marshall saddles a trio of runners — Silver Operator, Rascallion and Linebacker.

It is surely significant that Grant van Niekerk has stuck with his regular ride Linebacker.

While Silver Operator ran second to Jet Dark in the Cape Mile, Linebacker hasn’t been seen in action since running fourth in the Champions Cup. Nevertheless, a good showing by the Captain Of All gelding looks likely as Marshall is quoted in Winning Form as saying his charge  “rested well, should run well”.

Rascallion — this column’s fancy for the 2020 Durban July — returned from a lengthy absence to finish fourth behind Jet Dark in the Champions Mile. He might just be the joker in the pack.

In the grade 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas, Ciao Bella is understandably the favourite as she has done little wrong in her five starts and has the advantage of a favourable draw.


Glen Kotzen was critical of Van Niekerk’s riding of Hold My Hand in the Fillies Championship and he will be even more worried if he watches a replay of the Summer Cup.

Calvin Habib had the worst draw on Pyromaniac, but he seemed to have no plan at all languishing in the rear and beating only two rivals home. Mr Kotzen needs to give some instructions to the young rider.

Possibly a nice double on Saturday is Make It Snappy to run a place and R7m buy Celestial City to stay unbeaten in the second race at Turffontein.

The starting price of 14-1 suggests Make It Snappy may have caught connections by surprise with her recent win, but she beat Marina and Chansonette, both seriously good females.

A wide draw is a bit of a worry but another well-fancied runner, Golden Hostess, is in the same boat.

Time Fo Orchids — formerly with Sean Tarry but now in the care of Marshall — is another runner with a wide draw, but her Cape debut suggests she is a bargain buy at just R150,000.

Brett Crawford, who trains Make It Snappy, also has a big shout for capturing the grade 2 Southern Cross Stakes with Aussie-bred Whoa Whoa Whoa. The filly should be cherry-ripe in her third run after a break.

Iphiko, a five-time winner, is an interesting raider from the Highveld and Muzi Yeni will be seeking his third win on the Team Valor-bred daughter of Trippi.

Santa Maria comes into the picture following a good recent effort over 1,200m, though there is a suspicion that 1,000m might be on the short side at this stage of her career.

The distance is definitely too short for Gavin Lerena’s mount, Princess Calla, but should she win there will be a few backers prepared to back Kevin Lerena later in the evening.



1 (5) Jet Dark

2 (7) Kommetdieding

3 (8) Linebacker

4 (10) Rascallion


1 (11) Make It Snappy

2 (3) Ciao Bella

3 (12) Golden Hostess

4 (14) Hold My Hand



1 (11) Whoa Whoa Whoa

2 (5) Santa Maria

3 (4) Iphiko4

(1) Hunting Trip


1 (5) Rex Union

2 (8) Baratheon

3 (7) Salvator Mundi

4 (9) Black Thorn