THE new Gr2 Dingaans favourite National Park’s participation hangs in the balance as he is the subject of a pending sale to Hong Kong and will not run if it goes through. He was instated favourite after the scratching earlier this week of Soqrat.
Gold Circle’s DAVID THISELTON reports that National Park, a big and rangy gelding by Gimmethegreenlight, has been staying at Alec Laird’s Randjesfontein yard and is being looked after by assistant trainer Carl Hewitson.
He has been doing well and trainer Yvette Bremner said, “We have always said this horse does not know how good he is. Even in work when he heads a horse he just canters and he often has to be given a slap down his shoulder just to do his work.
“That is why he surprised us when he won so well in Jo’Burg last time. Yes, he had won his previous race on the Fairview poly by three lengths extending but in Jo’burg we were just expecting a nice run, so we were also blown away. He is very, very good. He should have no problem with the mile. In his only previous run over a mile in August it was against older horses and it was a bit soon for him.”
If the sale does go ahead Bremner expects it to be concluded by Friday.
National Park won the Grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m last time out by 5,80 lengths at odds of 22/1, beating the highly regarded Chimichuri Run despite receiving only 1kg.
Bremner has previously had big race success in Johannesburg with Copper Parade, who was also staying at the Alec Laird yard when winning the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint.
The Dingaans is always a well prescribed race and although it provides a pointer to the Grade 1 classics it is an important classic itself.
National Park’s biggest danger looks to be the Mike de Kock-trained Hawwaam and the Mike and Adam Azzie-trained Reach For The Line, although history shows that less heralded horses can upstage the favourites in this race and two of the KZN raiders, Thanksgiving and Perfect Peter, fit into that category while Samurai Warrior is on the up, Gift For The Gap is a scopey sort who will be improving and Bien Venue is better than his recent form suggests.