Lerena Family Aiming For Success In Two Sports In Two Countries
One cousin steps into the boxing ring and another on the Kenilworth track for the WSB Green Point Stakes
“Kommet” is now around even money after the scratching of his perennial rival Jet Dark.
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.
WSB GREEN POINT STAKES
1 (5) Jet Dark
2 (7) Kommetdieding
3 (8) Linebacker
4 (10) Rascallion
WSB FILLIES GUINEAS
1 (11) Make It Snappy
2 (3) Ciao Bella
3 (12) Golden Hostess
4 (14) Hold My Hand
SOUTHERN CROSS STAKES
1 (11) Whoa Whoa Whoa
2 (5) Santa Maria
3 (4) Iphiko4
(1) Hunting Trip
CAPE SUMMER STAYERS
1 (5) Rex Union
2 (8) Baratheon
3 (7) Salvator Mundi
4 (9) Black Thorn
WSB Green Point Stakes A Mouthwatering Affair, Jet Dark Late Scratching
Mark Van Deventer’s Preview of The WSB Cape Fillies Guineas
Formguides And Selections For Saturday’s Big Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Meeting
R1 12H:40 – World Sports Betting Supports The Western Cape Equine Trust Maiden Plate
Watch out for: TURN THE PAGE (4)
Captain Al Can Add To His Phenomenal CFG Record
Miss Marguerite finished a short-head second to Bonika in the Listed Irridescence Stakes over 1500m last season, but the one-time winner has 5,95 lengths to make up on Ciao Bella from the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship, although she does have draw two now as opposed to nine.
Stories Aplenty As First Entries Unveiled For Cape Town Met
Kommetdieding is back to defend his Met title after a mildly disappointing year.
The names of the first entries for the WSB Cape Town Met on 28 January are interesting and revealing.
Hotshot three-year-olds Charles Dickens and Cousin Casey are on the list, despite Cape Town’s biggest race seldom being a happy hunting ground for youngsters.
In the past 20 years, the filly Oh Susannah is the only ‘sophomore’ to have triumphed, but trainers Candice Bass-Robinson and Glen Kotzen clearly think their charges are out of the ordinary.
The only trainers raiding the famous old race from outside Western Cape are Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry from Randjesfontein – which is a tad disappointing given the very generous incentives being offered by Cape Racing to entice more visitors to its summer season.
Perhaps the most conspicuous absentee is highly ambitious Turffontein conditioner Johan Janse van Vuuren, who landed the Summer Cup last weekend with Puerto Manzano and has a stable bristling with top-notch talent.
De Kock’s entries, Sparkling Water and Safe Passage, might answer the question about which of his classy string will spearhead his Cape challenge.
belligerent best as runner-up and, if he takes to Kenilworth’s left- hand turn, will surely be in the reckoning.
Tarry’s star filly Rain In Holland is another early Met entry to have “disappointed” recently – when 2-1 favourite in a Pinnacle Stakes comeback run following a six-month break which included having a procedure on an entrapped epiglottis.
A famous figure of yesteryear, Ricky Maingard returns to the South African big time – after a decades-long sojourn in Mauritius.
His name is affixed to four-year-old Australian import Al Muthana – moving from De Kock’s care after a brilliant victory in the Gold Challenge at Greyville in July.
Cape Town training titan Justin Snaith bids for his second Met victory (aforementioned Oh Susannah being his sole winner so far) with a potentially five-strong team, headed up by 2022 runner-up Jet Dark and including Pomp And Power and Pacaya, from whom we are yet to see their best.
Kommetdieding is back to defend his Met title after a mildly disappointing year – by his standards.
He ran a cracking second in a recent feature sprint and Michelle Rix is tuning him up in the right way after a holiday.
The next step on the path is Saturday’s Grade 2 Green Point Stakes, where he meets no fewer than nine of the 26 Met first entries – including fierce foe Jet Dark.
First entries, WSB Cape Town Met (Grade 1) R2-million
2000m (alphabetical order):
Will Charles Dickens Write New Golden Chapter With Candice Bass-Robinson?
Bookmakers have slashed Charles Dickens to odds-on for the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas
Mike Moon (The Citizen)
After winning his first four races in a row – increasingly easily – trainer Candice Bass-Robinson’s three-year-old colt was a 1-2 shot to get the better of some useful older horses, even giving them up to 9kg in weight advantage.
In the end, the son of Trippi made the odds look a bargain.
As the field straightened off the left-hand turn, Domeyer flicked the reins once, the horse lengthened his stride and onlookers had breaths removed.
The toiling bunch looked like palookas. The colt was never off the bit and was eased down in the final 150m, winning by 3.25 lengths – and it could have been double that if he’d been asked to exert himself.
As good as the legends of yesteryear? Having seen many an early prediction of “greatness” over 50-plus years, I would reserve judgement for a moment. But he is smart.
One notable dissenting voice amongst all the adulation was that of Karel Miedema, the shrewd proprietor of racing site Sporting Post, who said: “Here we go again … Sea Cottage. Really? Let’s get a benchmark – put a number on it – what rating did he run to, so that we can have some realism, instead of babble?”
Well-known horse owner Peter de Beyer rose to Miedema’s challenge: “I [was] expecting this horse to run a good prep but at the weights to get beaten by Russian Rock and FiftyFiver. He blew them away…
“The lowest rating I can get to using Winchester Mansion as a line is 123. However, using any of the other top five finishers gets above 130. I have Charles Dickens now at 135, given the ease of his victory.
“In international terms I reckon he is around 120 Time Form equivalent…”
The upshot of all the excitement is that interest in the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas at Kenilworth in three weeks’ time is sky high. Bookmakers have slashed Charles Dickens to 6-10 for the classic – and to 3-1 favouritism for the subsequent L’Ormarins King’s Plate early in the new year.
Consider that in-form, two-time winner of the latter race Jet Dark has been bumped out to 33-10, wildly popular Kommerdieding to 4-1 and Equus Horse of the Year Captain’s Ransom to 7-1 and you’ll appreciate the level of buzz about the callow youth from the paddocks of Drakenstein.
In terms of the Guineas, aficionados are relishing the prospect of Charles Dickens meeting Cousin Casey, another precocious Cape Town kid who was an impressive winner of the Golden Horseshoe, the Premier’s Champion Stakes and the recent Punters Cup on his way to five wins on the trot.
Hard, sober heads point out that trainer Glen Kotzen’s charge has posted his record at a much higher level and will provide Bass-Robinson’s wunderkind with a true test.
Actually, so might whichever three-year-old Mike de Kock raids with from the Highveld. On Saturday, the master trainer registered a first, second and third in the 1400m Jonsson Workwear Dingaans at Turffontein – with Union Square, Shoemaker and East Coast.
The word is that Shoemaker will be chosen to travel. The highly regarded son of Gimmethegreenlight had a rough passage in the Dingaans and is a lot better than a runner-up position might suggest.
Even Sea Cottage and Horse Chestnut would be getting a bit excited by the prospects.
Who was the last three-year-old male to have won the Met?
The picture above gives a clue to the answer, which is at the bottom of the newsletter.
Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Fields, Saturday
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Turffontein Standside Fields, Saturday
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Hollywoodbets Scottsville Standside Fields, Sunday
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Picture: Horse Chestnut became the first three-year-old to win the Met for at least 50 years when winning by eight lengths under Weichong Marwing in 1999 (Sporting Post).