Picture: See It Again winning the Gr 1 Splashout Cape Derby over the course and distance of the WSB Met last year (Image: Wayne Marks)
Written by Mark van Deventer (Cape Racing)
At miserly, 4/10 odds, SEE IT AGAIN will go to post as the shortest priced, World Sports Betting Cape Town MET favourite in many moons. The TWICE OVER gelding trained by former champion jock, Michael Roberts, and ridden by soon-to-retire riding legend, Piere Strydom has a big edge under the Weight-for-Age conditions of this famous G1 over 2000m.
The four-year-old chestnut with an OMR of 132 beat brilliant miler (and now retired) CHARLES DICKENS over this C/D in the Cape Derby of ’23 and went on to run awesome races during the KZN Winter as he matured. He took out the G1 Daily News over 2000m before nearly overcoming an extremely onerous weight assignment in the 2200m Durban July when he ran a gallant second to lighter weighted, older horse, WINCHESTER MANSION.
He’s looked in sharp nick during Summer in the Cape – winning the World Sports Betting Green Point Stakes in December on class alone, then succumbing to the fabulous CHARLES DICKENS in the King’s Plate over what is an inadequate 1600m for a staying type of colt at his best from middle distances upwards.
That observation lays bare his only possible flaw: a slow run “Cape Crawl’ could be an issue if trapped out wide and too far off the pace in the now 12 strong field, after the withdrawal of BLESS MY STARS. Strydom is alert to such a scenario and has overcome those pace/positioning travails often enough in a storied career.
Possible pace-pressers include MONTIEN, a progressive gelding that may love this longer route and can sustain a steady gallop with his lengthy stride. He is around 33/1 to win and Piet Botha’s entry beckons as a nicely priced (9/2) place contender.
20/1 shot, DOUBLE SUPERLATIVE, who won the Cape Guineas in 2021 and ran with great credit in the World Sports Betting Met of ‘22 is trying to come back after a tendon injury and ran a similarly encouraging sort of race to MONTIEN when going handy and beaten over five lengths in the King’s Plate. Both are held safe by SEE IT AGAIN, yet could get the run of the race and hit the frame at big prices.
Justin Snaith has a strong team of “relay runners” against the favourite. Not only does he send out DOUBLE SUPERLATIVE, but Greyville 1900 victor PACAYA; the dramatically progressive MUCHO DINERO; King’s Plate third placed ROYAL AUSSIE and WITHOUT QUESTION also hail from his Phillipi barn.
A change of tactics worked the oracle for ROYAL AUSSIE. Instead of forcing the pace as usual he dropped anchor before rushing home in the King’s Plate. He was however, still 1.25 lengths in arrears of SEE IT AGAIN despite a career-best showing, which puts his chances in perspective.
PACAYA also uses a powerful finish to good effect on the lawn and this TRIPPI gelding has won up to G2 level. It may be significant that he was comfortably outrun though by MUCHO DINERO in the final stages of the Anothonij Rupert Wine Premier’s Trophy over 1800m (as was G1 placed, AT MY COMMAND), suggesting that this fast-developing four-year-old might even be good enough to give SEE IT AGAIN a scare. Flamboyant and confident rider, Grant van Niekerk will again partner MUCHO DINERO.
2023 G2 Premier victor, regularly G1 placed and stiff in last year’s WSB Cape Town MET when held up on the outer, RASCALLION is inconveniently drawn on the wide outside. This will test Bernard Fayd Herbe’s race-riding skills and tactical acumen. RASCALLION lacks the killer turn of foot at this level yet will try his lungs out and might hit the board on his best tries.
AL MUTHANA, who stunned CHARLES DICKENS in the ’23 L’Ormarins King’s Plate may be better over shorter than this ten-furlong trip, so would appreciate a sluggish early tempo. He’s run credibly since delivering that LKP bomb and is too classy (officially rated 126, only six points inferior to SEE IT AGAIN) to throw out completely when constructing single race exotics.
ANFIELDS ROCKET’s overall body of work suggests he could find this a bridge too far. He was noted running on well in the L’Ormarins King’s Plate from miles back after a slow start, but is held by quite a few rivals even on that showing which was one of his better efforts since winning the SA Classic at Turffontein nearly a year ago.
SUGAR MOUNTAIN has hit the frame in 80% of his 21 starts, but faces his sternest test off a relatively humble OMR of 109; WATERBERRY LANE needs to run out of his socks to trouble the scorer based on recent dull runs in the Cape, and WITHOUT QUESTION is yet to regain the spark which saw him get within two lengths of SEE IT AGAIN in the Daily News in May 2023.
SEE IT AGAIN, pace queries notwithstanding, appears to have this race at his mercy. Whether you want to take 4/10 about that eventuality is a personal matter, of course. He will be an almost universal banker in the Picks.
Best of the rest are Snaith’s tag team comprising the seriously scopey dark-horse, MUCHO DINERO; unproven lurker over this trip, ROYAL AUSSIE; PACAYA and DOUBLE SUPERLATIVE, who could well get a saloon passage under Daniel Muscutt.
Longshots that might add value to wider single race exotic plays include MONTIEN, RASCALLION, and AL MUTHANA