Without Question will be ridden by Richard Fourie in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 at Hollywoodbets Greyville tomorrow (Picture: Wayne Marks)
Piere Strydom’s mount, See It Again, is favourite for the Daily News 2000 with Richard Fourie’s ride, Without Question, second favourite
David Mollett (Business Day)
If the market has got it right, we could have a tantalising finish to Saturday’s Daily News 2000 at Hollywoodbets Greyville between a veteran former champion jockey and a rival 20 years his junior who has been red-hot in big races this season.
Piere Strydom, who turns 57 next month, knows he’ll have to be at the top of his game to beat Richard Fourie. It can be likened to Frankie Dettori taking on William Buick which will happen at Royal Ascot in three weeks’ time.
Bookmakers have Strydom’s mount, See It Again, as the 16-10 favourite for the grade 1 race with Fourie’s ride, Without Question, second favourite at 33-10.
Both three-year-olds are owned by Nic Jonsson who could pocket more than R1.2m if the two finish in the first two places.
Michael Roberts was used to big races in his prime in the UK and — until this season — has mainly been a spectator as the country’s top stables plundered the grade 1 races.
So it’s excellent that at last this outstanding horseman has a talented horse in See It Again — not only a runner in a grade 1 event, but favourite to boot.
It’s worth remembering that See It Again was a 50-1 chance when he won the Cape Derby in February and he proved that was no flash in the pan when second to Charles Dickens in the KZN Guineas.
Now punters are being asked to take a much shorter price and it’s a little worrying that Strydom told Turf Talk that the course doesn’t really suit the son of Twice Over.
So just how good is the second favourite Without Question? That this is only the third time Richard Fourie has partnered the son of United States suggests he wasn’t near the top of the Snaith three-year-old pecking order.
That all changed in the Winter Guineas at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth where an avalanche of money saw Nic Jonsson’s R300,000 buy start favourite and he duly took top honours in impressive style. It could be that the gelding took time to mature and — from a favourable draw — he could cement his position as a leading Durban July contender.
However, this column feels that Glen Kotzen’s runner, Cousin Casey, could spoil the party for Roberts and Justin Snaith.
After being drawn in the bush in the Cape Guineas and Met, Cousin Casey now jumps from pole position. Grant van Niekerk — not booked for stablemate Hold My Hand in the Woolavington — will do everything in his power to make it a memorable race for trainer Glen Kotzen and owner Ravi Naidoo.
When it comes to grade 1 races, Gary Player is pretty much in the same boat as Roberts. But SA’s golf legend has bred a good colt in Dave The King who has a serious shout on his KZN Guineas run. This Mike de Kock inmate finished less than half a length behind See It Again.
Despite the presence of Derby winner Son Of Raj, it’s looking a four-horse contest with See It Again, Without Question, Cousin Casey and Dave The King the ones the commentator will be calling home over the final 200m.
At his odds of 9-2, Cousin Casey looks good value as he returns to a distance over which he ran fifth in the Met and he’s the selection to beat home See It Again, Without Question and Dave The King.
As reported in Business Day on Thursday, Sean Tarry will be hoping to crown a memorable month (numerous visits to the winners rostrum at the highveld awards) by capturing the Woolavington 2000 with his star filly, Rain In Holland.
The 10-time winner is drawn in pole position whereas one of her main rivals, Silver Darling, is drawn near the beach. The one worry about the four-year-old is that she had a hard race (cramped late) in the Premier’s Challenge at Turffontein.
For that reason, the 2-1 favourite is worth taking on with the second and third home in the Fillies Guineas, Saartjie and Hold My Hand. The former offers Robert Khathi the chance of a rare grade 1 winner.
None Other has played her part in an excellent season for Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein and will be a major player once again. Still, if you’re not in the camp of Rain In Holland, punters will need to include a number of runners in their exotic bets.
While Keagan De Melo’s Daily News mount East Coast looks an unlikely winner, this season’s leading jockey will fancy his chances of winning the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup on Dean Kannemeyer’s stayer, Rex Union.
One Way Traffic — co-owned by Nic Jonsson — rates a big danger but does have to give 6kg to De Melo’s mount.
1st Race: (8) Rapidash (3) Bedtime Story (2) Future Flo (11) Strawberry Stinger
2nd Race: (4) Kingdom Of Gold (6) Knockout (5) Bitcoin Baby (11) When Evening Comes
3rd Race: (3) Warship (7) Get In The Q (4) Ancient Epic (9) Sabatini
4th Race: (6) Union Square (4) Noble City (3) Lord William (5) Imposing
5th Race: (8) Rex Union (11) One Way Traffic (13) Senso Unico (4) Future Pearl
6th Race: (13) Saartjie (11) Hold My Hand (1) Rain In Holland (14) Silver Darling
7th Race: (1) Cousin Casey (7) See It Again (3) Without Question (6) Dave The King
8th Race: (9) Hawker Typhoon (8) Princess Philippa (3) Hierkommiebokkie (10) Macara
9th Race: (1) Dancing Dora (6) Shanta’s Pride (2) Maquette (7) Double Dream