Adam Marcus is looking forward to Saturday’s Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby and hoping his Grade 3 Politician Stakes winner Universal (Gimmethegreenlight) will relish the trip as he suspects he might do.
He said, “In the back of your mind is that Vardy was at his best over a mile at the very highest level, although he did win the Winter Classic over 1800m in soft going. But Vardy was by Var and watching the replays of the Politician Stakes Universal only looked to really get into his full stride late suggesting he is looking for further.”
Marcus is not looking at it as a grudge encounter against Double Superlative (Twice Over), who is owned by the sponsor’s proprietor Nick Jonsson..
He said, “It was unfortunate he was interfered with in the Guineas as it did not give him and Trip Of Fortune (Trippi) the chance to run closer although I think it was irrelevant to the first prize result as Double Superlative would have won anyway. Double Superlative is a super, super horse and it gives us a very hard task on Saturday.”
Universal also has to contend with a draw of seven in the eleven horse field compared to five for the favourite.
Marcus is hoping the gallant Princess Calla (Flower Alley) can clinch a long overdue win in the Grade 3 Prix du Cap over 1400m.
He said, “In any other time she would have likely been a one or two time Grade 1 winner by now but just keeps on coming up against exceptional horses. I think Captain’s Ransom (Captain Al) is not just the best filly in the country but the best horse and Princess Calla is getting closer and closer to her. So there is a lot in our favour. I have just freshened her up for this race but would like to think she has a massive shout.”
She is drawn in pole with Adam’s Uncle Anton Marcus up.
The yard also run Grade 2 Cape Merchants runner up and Listed Southeaster Sprint winner Bereave (Vercingetorix) in the Grade 2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes over 1200m.
He said, “The 1000m of the Cape Flying as too short for him and he began laying out late, if he had run straight he would have got closer. He has been going from strength to strength and always gives an honest effort and this is a suitable trip but we have to be realistic about his winning chances – Rio Querari (Querari) should win comfortably if he brings his true form.
Marcus is also happy to be supporting the Jockeys vs Workriders Challenge with his charge Bowled Over (Twice Over) as he believes this is a good initiative for the Workriders and a fun event.
Meanwhile, Vardy has been retired and Adam is happy he is being looked after well and enjoying life at Klawervlei Stud.
Picture: Universal (Chase Liebenberg Photography)