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Captain’s Ransom (nearest) just gets up in last year’s Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes to deny Chansonette and Marina. (Wayne Marks). 

Cape Racing

“Pace makes the race” is a racing adage that may well have a bearing on the result of the Cartier Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday. Fervent supporters of favourite Captain’s Ransom will believe that this extraordinary filly will win regardless of the early tempo, but she could be taken out of her comfort zone in a hard run 1800m should Fillies Guineas winner, Make It Snappy, or Bass Racing entry Echo of Life force the issue to help her deep-closing stable companion, Marina.
The mare, Captain’s Ransom is a phenom having won 13 of her sixteen starts, including multiple G1’s. She scrambled home in this race last year from Chansonette and a late charging Marina, but her absolute best figures have been attained between 1200 and 1600m. She uses exceptional acceleration to get the job done – expert jock, Richard Fourie, who has won on her 11 times out of 13, again takes the reins.
2022 Durban July winner, Sparkling Water also looms a threat. On official merit ratings Mike de Kock’s entry is only two points behind Justin Snaith’s champion – 122 vs 124. Her versatile running style will stand her in good stead as she can come from off them or race handily, as required.
Hold my Hand was 2.25 lengths off Make it Snappy in the Fillies Guineas but that does not convey the full picture. Whilst Brett Crawford’s runner did not encounter a straw in her path setting even fractions upfront, bad things were happening to Hold My Hand from her wide draw of 14/14. It is a credit to Hold my Hand’s latent ability that she got as close as she did after being blocked in the straight and she is worthy of respect, too.
Rain in Holland won the Triple Tiara on the Highveld between February and April of 2022 and would be a factor if regaining that form, but her recent efforts have not hit those heights.
A bigger menace could be Marina – striving for her first G1. The Silvano mare is capable at the highest level, and she will be passing tiring rivals late. She can only hope that Captain’s Ransom’s brilliant and typically decisive turn of foot will be blunted over this longer trip.