Al Muthana has to jump from the widest draw of all in the Gr 1 HKJC World Pool Gold Cup, but he has the advantage of coming in fresh and facing a number of horses who have come out of a hard race in the Hollywoodbets Durban July (Picture: Wayne Marks).
The Gr 1 HKJC World Pool Champions Cup over 1800m sees 14 in the line up including See It Again, who will have a strong chance of being named Equus Champion Three-year-old male and Equus Horse Of The Year if he can win it from draw 13. Al Muthana is full of class and goes for a second wfa Gr 1 this season, but he has drawn widest of all. However, he is capable of a powerful finish from off the pace. Princess Calla has been exemplary over sprints this season, but stays this trip and has an electric turn of foot. The long-striding front-running sort Dave The King is ideally distance suited and will be a threat from draw one. Zapatillas will be running fresh which often favours horses in this race running against tired Hollywoodbets Durban July runners. Trip Of Fortune ran on well in the July, but has had a long season. Safe Passage had no luck in the July, so this could be his race. Rascallion also deserves a change of luck and is distance suited. Bartholdi is a top sprinter and is interesting running fresh over this trip. Pomp And Power is full of class. but he is temperamental and is his own worst enemy. MK’s Pride has class and should see out the trip. Second Base is doing very well for his new yard and is a dark horse.
In the Gr 1 Mercury Sprint Gimme A Prince will be hard to beat from draw five over an ideal trip. Isivunguvungu is a top class sprinter too, but has to prove he is as effective over 1200m as he is over 1000m. William Robertson went close last year and is capable of winning this as he can eat up ground with his long stride. It is hard to see any of the others challenging those three. Sheela might do so though, because she has speed and a kick so should enjoy this around-the-turn Gr 1. Pearl Of Asia sprang a big surprise by winning this race two years ago and he can’t be ignored because on his day he possesses an electrifying turn of foot, although he usually needs some luck coming from last.
In the Gr 1 World Pool Moment Of The Day Champion Stakes the top two-year-old male, the undefeated Lucky Lad, lines up and will likely have to use his exhilarating turn of foot, because he might well be dropped out from draw 13. His possible chief rival Sandringham Summit is drawn even wider in 14, but came from a mile back when winning the Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe. The undefeated Main Defender could still be anything and is drawn well. Longsword, Ermelo and The Africa House are scopey, long-striding sorts who could earn cheques.
In the Gr 1 Douglas Whyte Thekwini Stakes Platina Princess has eyecatching form and will be improving being by Danon Platina, but she does have a tough draw. Secret Identity has shown class and should be running on strongly from a wide draw. Rascova finished second to the crack Mrs Geriatrix in the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper. Egyptian Mau was just behind her. Distant Winter was fourth in the latter race and also has a shout. Let’s Go Now is a full-sister to Bless My Stars and she still has plenty of scope for improvement. Dolcezza has some useful form and has a shout. That’s My Baby is well regarded, but does have a tough draw.