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Royal Aussie (Picture: Wayne Marks).


The Justin Snaith-trained Royal Mo colt Royal Aussie is the highest earner in the land this season thanks to his win in the R7.5 million Gold Rush.

He avoided the big three-year-old races to run in that and so probably has a suppressed merit rating (112).

However, the formlines show he beat Dave The King over 1600m in the Gold Rush, a race in which he also in fact beat See It Again, although the latter ran well below his subsequent runs.

Dave The King has subsequently beaten Cousin Casey over 1600m in the WSB Guineas.

Therefore the sponsor appears to have erred in offering Royal Aussie at 40/1 odds for Saturday’s big weight for age mile and Cousin Casey at 12/1, even if the latter did need his WSB Guineas run.

Royal Aussie’s draw of seven out of ten makes it tougher.

However, he has always had an impressively uncomplicated action and relaxes well in the running too.

This allows him to use his good turn of foot to maximum effect.

If JP van der Merwe can place him well he could well run into the money.

The 40/1 odds of course just represent each/way value with the major portion put on the place, because Charles Dickens is going to be hard to beat.

The superstar colt will have come on from his last start when easily winning the WSB Guineas.

He has a good draw of four and can exact revenge on his L’Ormarins King’s Plate conqueror Al Muthana.

Ricky Maingard will leave no stone unturned in getting Al Muthana to his peak, so he is likely to run a cracker from draw five out of ten.

Trip To Fortune has landed a good draw of three and has been in fine form so should be in the shake up under the underrated jockey Gareth Wright.

Cousin Casey has a new jockey aboard, S’Manga Khumalo, as former incumbent Grant van Niekerk will be aboard Al Muthana. Cousin Casey has a tremendous turn of foot when at his best and from pole position has to be respected especially under the twice SA Champion jockey.  

Rascallion has class and will have still needed it when beaten 3,50 lengths by Trip Of Fortune in the WSB Green Point Stakes over this trip last November, which was the last time he ran over a mile. That was his second run after a layoff of eleven months. He should have come on from his Champions Season pipe opener in the WSB 1900 and will be finishing strongly from draw two.

Zapatillas produced a good finish to win the WSB Guineas over course and distance last year, but he has a tough draw of ten out of ten.

Do It Again has won this race before but this is likely to be seen as a preparation run for the Hollywoodbets Durban July, where he will make history by being the first to run in the big race six times and he will also be out to be the first to win it three times.

Bingwa is capable of a top drawer performance over a mile, but does need things to go his way and he has a tricky draw of eight.

Safe Passage ran a shocker in the IOS Drill Hall Stakes here over 1400m but improved next time out. This race will show whether he is still as good as he was as a three-year-old when winning both the Gr 2 WSB Dingaans and Gr 2 WSB Gauteng Guineas, among other races.

It will be an intriguing race and perhaps the sponsor is justified in making Royal Aussie a 40/1 shot, but he does look to be the least exposed horse at this level in the race and it will represent something of an acid test for him.