Tail Of The Comet winning the Cape Racing Sales The Ready To Run Stakes (Picture: Wayne Marks)
Mike Moon (The Citizen)
Tail Of The Comet has the brightness to blaze a path across the Kenilworth firmament.
It’s always a special moment when youthful promise ventures out to meet its contemporaries. Like the first day of school or varsity, a first game for the first team, a first day of working life…
The Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas at Kenilworth racecourse on Saturday is one such moment, with 11 precocious three-year-old racehorses lining up for the first major examination of their talents. They’ve all shown they are above average, but which one will rise highest above the melee?
A lot rides on the outcome of this mile-long battle. For the victor, there’s lasting fame and possibly fortune. Many a Cape Guineas winner has gone on to become a champion galloper and many have made their mark in the breeding barn.
Of more immediate value, though, the winner gets a gold-lettered invitation into an elite world, instant entrée into great races of the connections’ choosing.
Of course, the absence of two Highveld-based three-year-olds currently rated the best of their generation diminishes the 2023 spectacle a bit. But there is enough potential in this weekend’s field to conjure magic and set up an exciting showdown with those upcountry upstarts in the future.
The traditional preparatory race for the Guineas, recently renamed the Cape Punters Cup and raced over the same course and distance in late November, went the way of Justin Snaith-trained colt Hluhluwe. So, predictably, he is top of the betting boards at 5-2.
Hot favourite for that race was Tail Of The Comet, from the Joburg stable of Sean Tarry, but the raider let down backers with a desultory performance.
It would be foolish to let that one bad showing put punters off the colt, given his impressive efforts prior, and he looks an attractive prospect at 9-2.
Snow Pilot, another Snaith runner and one who was just pipped by his stablemate in the Punters Cup, has been ultra consistent thus far in his career and can’t be left out of place consideration.
Vaughan Marshall’s Questioning was mentioned as Cape Town’s brightest three-year-old hope until he finished fourth to Hluhluwe. He has slipped slightly in popular esteem since, but that might not be justified.
Green With Envy has done nothing wrong so far and will benefit from trainer Dean Kannemeyer’s Guineas’ special touch.
The lone filly, Red Palace, has relished a step up in trip to 1600m and gets a 2.5kg weight advantage over her male rivals – which was no doubt part of conditioner Candice Bass-Robinson’s thinking in placing her in this company.
As always with young horses, prediction is a highly risky thing. They mature and improve suddenly, and at different rates, so confidence is folly. But that only adds to the intrigue.
8 Tail Of The Comet, 10 Green With Envy, 9 Red Palace, 4 Hluhluwe