Picture: Paddy Kruyer (centre) was included in the picture when the raider’s incentive cheque was presented for the SplashOut Cape Derby on Saturday (Wayne Marks).
One big decision contributed to Charles Dickens’ defeat in the SplashOut Cape Derby – it was to send See It Again to the Milnerton stable of Paddy Kruyer for the Cape season.
There is no doubt that Kruyer is one of the best horsemen in the country. This was the view of the late, great Terrance Millard and one doesn’t get a better endorsement than that.
The likeable trainer saddled his first winner at Turffontein in April 2008 and his career total currently stands at 166. He has had some decent horses through his hands including Forest Of Dean (eight wins) and Foxy Princess and Lenton Grove who both retired six-time winners.
Chatting to Paddy on Monday morning, he said he was “delighted to be part of Muis’ first Grade 1 winner.”
He took delivery of See It Again at the beginning of December and says “I quickly spotted his potential and felt he would do well over ground.”
See It Again’s first outing in the Cape was in mid-January and – given Muis Roberts belief that he had a top performer on his hands – I lumped on Rachel Venniker’s mount in a 106 merit-rated handicap for which the colt started at 6-1.
When the son of Twice Over – one of Nic Jonsson’s cheaper purchases at R120 000 – then failed to place in the 1600m Gold Rush on Met day, Mr Roberts, whose career I have reported on for four decades, wasn’t top of my populatory list.
However, that defeat came as no surprise to Paddy. “The shorter run clearly caught him out and I think Rachel (Venniker) was somewhat intimidated in the race.”
Tackling 2000m for the first time in the Cape Derby was definitely the colt’s cup of tea and – though Paddy probably didn’t think Charles Dickens could be beaten – he was certain a big run was coming especially with Piere Strydom in the irons.
So my next question to the Milnerton-based trainer was this: “Do you think See It Again could win the Durban July and would you go that route if you were the trainer?”
“Most definitely,” came the reply, “he’ll love the 2200m trip and, Molly, you’ll remember what Terrance (Millard) always said that you need a 2400m horse to win the July.”
I have already advised Business Day readers to back Rascallion (16-1) for SA’s most famous race, but there’s no law saying you can’t back two horses and sponsors, Hollywood, quote the Cape Derby winner at 13-1.
The perfect script for Cape Racing as the curtain came down on the season was an emphatic win for SA’s new star, Charles Dickens, and a farewell victory and 14th career win for Captain’s Ransom.
Unfortunately, happy endings are rare in sport – the best example is Sir Donald Bradman who made a duck in his final innings in Test cricket.
Richard Fourie was correct in saying that Captain’s Ransom has been “phenomenal for us all” yet the usual zip was missing this time and it can only be described as a lethargic run.
The fact that the winner, Live My Life, was saddled by Denis Drier at his final meeting of having runners in the Cape, was some sort of poetic justice for a lifetime of competing with success at the highest level.