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See It Again cruises to a comfortable victory (Picture: Wayne Marks)

Turf Talk

It would be foolish to judge the country’s thoroughbred pecking order on the WSB Green Point Stakes, although looking at the last ten years the Green Point/L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (King’s Plate) double was done by the great miler Variety Club as well as by Legal Eagle twice and by Vardy.

However, when a horse best suited to middle distances downs a top class field in the Green Point it can be justifiable to rate that horse the best in the country.

The Michael Roberts-trained Twice Over colt See It Again is the horse in question.

He did what his celebrated three-parts brother Do It Again could not do do by winning the Green Point and will now be out to emulate the latter by winning the L’Ormarins King’s Plate as a four-year-old.

On Saturday in the Gr 2 mile event, which See It Again was using as a stepping stone race, he proved too classy for a vintage field that included the pair that vied for Equus Horse Of The Year last season, Charles Dickens and Princess Calla.

However, it must be said See It Again did get the run of the race, while the tactics employed by Charles Dickens in his last two starts will have taught the connections a thing or two.

In his previous start in the Gr 3 Hollywoodbets Matchem Stakes over 1400m, Charles Dickens sat handy without cover in the running. Not having cover did not cause him to overrace and he still found his usual fine turn of foot.

On Saturday holding him up and dropping him out to last did not work because while his stable companion Fire Alley ensured a good pace and was joined by Royal Aussie, they were clear of At My Command and Princess Calla, who went at no more than a steady gallop in joint third place.

See It Again sat behind At My Command and Piere Strydom was able to sit still behind horses for a long time in the straight.

Meanwhile, Charles Dickens had to make up about a length on See It Again at the top of the straight, and after becoming awkawardly placed on Al Muthana’s heels as the field concerina-ed he was forced to switch outward. He thus faced the breeze for the entire length of the straight.

He showed his usual fine turn of foot at the 400m mark and it carried him into the joint lead with Princess Calla.

However, Strydom had bided his time and when he switched outward and took the gap between Princess Calla and Charles Dickens it was clear he had a lot more in the tank than they had.

In fact At My Command towards the inside also stayed on past Charles Dickens and Princess Calla to finish a 1,75 length second.

Charles rallied to be beaten 2,15 lengths and was 0,30 lengths ahead of Calla with Rascallion in fifth place.

Piere “Striker” Strydom had ridden a flawless race from draw two and made more than a few among the public eat their words after they had chosen to criticise the legend from the grandstand for his second-place rides in the Hollywoodbets Durban July and HKJC  Champions Cup.

Piere spoke afterwards of how much See It Again had improved since last season.

See It Again can justfifiably now be called the best horse in the country and it must be remembered that Karel Miedema’s raceform awarded him the highest ability rating last season, a 120 for his Hollywoodbets Durban July second place finish.

Piere Strydom’s words after Saturday’s race are also telling, “Michael Roberts told me not to be hard on him as he’s targeting two other big races this Summer, and I wasn’t – but he still won.”

See It Again has an efficient action and a conservative way of going about things. Couple that with an obviously big engine and you have a horse who will probably never be as flashy in victory as Charles Dickens has been on occasion, but he is going to be a tough nut to crack throughout this season.

Charles Dickens will have his work cut out to reverse form in the King’s Plate.

However, the connections will hope for a better draw and no matter where he is drawn they are likely to place him more handy, even if it means being without cover in the running. It is of course always preferable to have cover, but he did relax well when without cover in the Matchem.

They will have to plan how best to use his chief weapon, his turn of foot, which is probably superior to any horse seen in this country for some time.

However, it stands to reason that this burst of speed can probably only be maintained for about 300 metres before it flattens out and leaves him having to rally.

In the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas the burst took him clear by the 200m mark and he then just had to maintain the momentum. However, there were no horses of the calibre of See It Again and Princess Calla in that field.

Against the latter class he will likey have to be waited with for as long as possible and preferably behind a horse who can give him a tow in the