Mike de Kock trains and part-owns East Coast, who will relish the step up in trip in the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic at Turffontein Standside tomorrow (Picture: Hamish Niven).
Mike de Kock’s runner has this season’s leading jockey in the saddle and will jump from pole position
David Mollett (Business Day)
East Coast — an 8-1 chance in ante post betting — looks worth a win and place wager in the R1.5m WSB SA Classic at Turffontein on Saturday.
Trained by Mike de Kock, East Coast has a number of factors in his favour. He has this season’s leading jockey in the saddle, will jump from pole position and reverts to the distance over which he ran second in the Victory Moon Stakes.
De Kock, who has won this grade 1 race three times in the past six years, also saddles Shoemaker, the mount of Richard Fourie.
S’manga Khumalo is back from suspension to ride Royal Victory for trainer Nathan Kotzen. The son of Pathfork deserves his position as favourite after his narrow defeat in the Gauteng Guineas.
The one worrying factor is that Royal Victory had a hard race in the Guineas. Khumalo threw the kitchen sink at his mount in his attempt to get the better of Eye Of The Prophet.
Rachel Venniker will give her all to provide Paul Matchett with a win in the second leg of the Triple Crown, but her mount is 3kg worse off with Billy Bowlegs and Alec Laird’s colt — by the same sire of East Coast — could turn the tables.
Much will depend on whether Denis Schwarz can overcome a wide draw on the son of The United States — only Jimmy Don and Star Coin have worse barriers.
Schwarz did this column a favour when capturing the Egoli Mile on 6-1 shot Laguna Verde, but now switches to Billy Bowlegs whom he rides for the first time.
When racing fans saw Craig Zackey’s name down to partner Laguna Verde, they must have been totally surprised. The talented rider relocated to New Zealand a few months ago but has seven booked mounts at Saturday’s meeting.
It’s in Laguna Verde’s favour that Zackey knows Laguna Verde well — he has ridden the gelding five times in his nine races. Could owner David Shawe’s R600,000 buy pull off a big race double? He certainly warrants inclusion in jackpot and Pick Six perms.
Though he is held by Eye Of The Prophet on Guineas running, Electric Gold finished third in that race and could earn a cheque once again. The fifth horse home earns R37,500.
On Dingaans form, Shoemaker has a shout though his past two races tempers enthusiasm. The colt didn’t shape in the Cape Guineas and was reported to be not striding out after trailing in last in the Gauteng Guineas.
Richard Fourie, who rides Shoemaker, has a better chance in the Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic in which he partners Feather Boa for the third time. Stuart Pettigrew’s filly is well drawn and has a big chance of taking the R781,250 first purse.
Nevertheless, there is a lot to like about another Keagan De Melo ride, None Other, who has been tipped on many occasions in this column. Lucky Houdalakis’ filly ran second to Billy Bowlegs in the Sea Cottage Stakes and could be a lucrative swinger bet with Feather Boa.
Fillies Guineas winner, Lady Of Power, makes her debut for Mike and Adam Azzie’s stable after being transferred from Joe Soma’s yard by his connections.
Soma has been saying polite things in the media, but the Turffontein trainer will be gutted to have lost a filly who is looking a bargain buy at R175,000.
With Piere Strydom riding every bit as well as 20 years ago, Lady Of Power could capture the second leg of the Triple Tiara though Feather Boa has a much better draw.
Reny’s Guineas third puts Brett Crawford’s filly firmly in the picture. She was a 25-1 chance in the Fillies Guineas but is quoted at 7-1 for Saturday’s race. Roy Magner’s runner, Emirata Gina, also has to be considered as she was probably in need of the run in the Guineas.
The return to a shorter trip has worked the oracle for William Robertson who will bid to win the eighth race of his career when he takes on 12 rivals in the WSB Hawaii Stakes.
With Red Saxon, Puerto Manzano and Under Your Spell among the opposition, this is no easy task for Corné Spies’ talented four-year-old but Marco van Rensburg does have the luxury of a good draw.
Lucky Lad — a R850,000 son of Gimmethegreenlight — is an interesting newcomer in the second race with Sean Tarry quoted in Winning Form as saying he is “hoping for a good run”.
That’s about as bullish the former champion trainer gets when giving his pre-race comments.
1st Race: (4) Lucy English (2) Sheldon (7) Rozara (3) Vegas Hi Rise
2nd Race: (No Selection)
3rd Race: (14) Women Of Fame (4) Divine Moonlight (6) Miss Shaivi (10) Red Hot Rose
4th Race: (1) Poursomesugaronme (2) Look To The Stars (4) Rockingthetimeaway (3) Happy Vibes
5th Race: (4) William Robertson (3) Red Saxon (12) Unzen (9) Under Your Spell
6th Race: (6) None Other (2) Feather Boa (1) Lady Of Power (3) Reny
7th Race: (3) East Coast (4) Royal Victory (7) Billy Bowlegs (9) Laguna Verde
8th Race: (2) Litigation (12) Flashy Apache (5) Pyromaniac (3) Johnny Hero
9th Race: (7) Angel Of War (4) Back In Business (2) Spielberg (10) In The Ether
10th Race: (2) Mo The Man (1) Jet Dynasty (3) Godfather (10) You’re My Sunshine