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Trainer Michael Roberts applauds Piere Strydom and See It Again after tjeir win in the WSB Green Point Stakes (Picture Wayne Marks)

Charles Dickens drifts to the longest odds of his career

Mike Moon (The Citizen)

See It Again has shortened sharply – from 5-2 to 9-10 – in ante-post betting for the 2024 WSB Cape Town Met after his impressive win in the weekend’s Green Point Stakes.

When first entries for Western Cape’s premier horse race – to be staged at Kenilworth in late January – were unveiled last week, the Michael Roberts-trained colt was chalked up as the favourite – with boom horse Charles Dickens next on the list at 7-2.

It didn’t take long for the bookmakers’ assessment to be tested as the duo came together in Saturday’s Grade 2 contest. The 1600m was thought to favour Charles Dickens, who was pegged at 5-10 with See It Again easy to back at 11-2, with the stable even saying this was a preparatory run for the KwaZulu-Natal raider ahead of his primary targets of the Cape summer season – the King’s Plate and the Met.

However, See It Again and jockey Piere Strydom made short work of the Green Point’s high-class field, strolling to a hands-and-heels victory, with Charles Dickens not able to quicken at the crucial moment and having to settle for third place.

The bookmakers quickly got busy on their Met odds boards, slashing See It Again to 9-10 and pushing Charles Dickens out from 7-2 to 5-1.

The latter – once compared to the immortal Sea Cottage after six wins on the trot – hasn’t had odds as long as that in his 12-race career. Punters couldn’t resist the temptation and by Monday afternoon he had come back a tad to 9-2.

Equus Horse of the Year Princess Calla was another who could not go with See It Again’s acceleration on Saturday. She finished fourth and drifted in the early Met betting from 8-1 to 10-1.

Runner-up in the Green Point, 33-1 shot At My Command, from the Brett Crawford yard, tumbled in the Met betting – from 40-1 to 20-1.

Matching that 40s to 20s dive was Mike de Kock-trained Aragosta, who didn’t contest the Green Point but powered to a win in the Listed 2500m Cape Summer Stayers Handicap on the same card.