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Kommetdieding is back to defend his Met title after a mildly disappointing year.



The names of the first entries for the WSB Cape Town Met on 28 January are interesting and revealing.

Young runners

Hotshot three-year-olds Charles Dickens and Cousin Casey are on the list, despite Cape Town’s biggest race seldom being a happy hunting ground for youngsters.

In the past 20 years, the filly Oh Susannah is the only ‘sophomore’ to have triumphed, but trainers Candice Bass-Robinson and Glen Kotzen clearly think their charges are out of the ordinary.

Reluctant travellers

The only trainers raiding the famous old race from outside Western Cape are Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry from Randjesfontein – which is a tad disappointing given the very generous incentives being offered by Cape Racing to entice more visitors to its summer season.

Perhaps the most conspicuous absentee is highly ambitious Turffontein conditioner Johan Janse van Vuuren, who landed the Summer Cup last weekend with Puerto Manzano and has a stable bristling with top-notch talent.

Safe Passage

De Kock’s entries, Sparkling Water and Safe Passage, might answer the question about which of his classy string will spearhead his Cape challenge.

Hollywoodbets Durban July champ Sparkling Water disappointed in the Betway Summer Cup, starting as 3-1 favourite but finishing in midfield and looking less than fully wound up. By contrast, Safe Passage was his

belligerent best as runner-up and, if he takes to Kenilworth’s left- hand turn, will surely be in the reckoning.

Tarry’s star filly Rain In Holland is another early Met entry to have “disappointed” recently – when 2-1 favourite in a Pinnacle Stakes comeback run following a  six-month break which included having a procedure on an entrapped epiglottis.

Ricky Maingard

A famous figure of yesteryear, Ricky Maingard returns to the South African big time – after a decades-long sojourn in Mauritius.

His name is affixed to four-year-old Australian import Al Muthana – moving from De Kock’s care after a brilliant victory in the Gold Challenge at Greyville in July.

Justin Snaith

Cape Town training titan Justin Snaith bids for his second Met victory (aforementioned Oh Susannah being his sole winner so far) with a potentially five-strong team, headed up by 2022 runner-up Jet Dark and including Pomp And Power and Pacaya, from whom we are yet to see their best.

Defending champ

Kommetdieding is back to defend his Met title after a mildly disappointing year – by his standards.

He ran a cracking second in a recent feature sprint and Michelle Rix is tuning him up in the right way after a holiday.

The next step on the path is Saturday’s Grade 2 Green Point Stakes, where he meets no fewer than nine of the 26 Met first entries – including fierce foe Jet Dark.

First entries, WSB Cape Town Met (Grade 1) R2-million

2000m (alphabetical order):