The battle of the two-year-olds with Equus fame at stake could steal the show at the Gold Cup Festival of Racing Weekend at Greyville at the end of the month as the juvenile stars clash at Grade 1 level for the final time this season.
These are the country’s top juveniles from studs and stables around South Africa that compete over 1 600m to claim the title of champion juvenile colt and filly. This is the ultimate test for the young horses that will compete in the classic races in the season ahead.
Fifty one entries have been received for the Premier’s Champion Stakes and the Thekwini Stakes, 20 colts and geldings for the former and 31 fillies for the latter. From the quality of entries, two thrilling races will be on the cards on Sunday, July 30.
Two very exciting colts head the entry list for the R750 000 Premier’s Champion Stakes, the winner of the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion at Scottsville, Sand And Sea from the Dennis Drier stable, and the winner of the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe at Greyville, Purple Diamond from the Sean Tarry yard. Neither colt has been tested over the mile with Sand And Sea winning over 1 200m and Purple Diamond over 1 400m.
R750 000 1600m
PREMIERS CHAMPION STAKES (Grade 1)
For 2 year-olds
No Apprentice Allowance
|16||#Big Bear||(2C)||60||0||AT||Sean Tarry|
|14||Borya||(2C)||60||0||A||Gavin van Zyl|
|9||Captain And Master||(2C)||60||0||AT||Sean Tarry|
|10||Cat’s Legacy||(2G)||60||0||A||Alyson Wright|
|7||#Eyes Wide Open||(2C)||60||0||A||Glen Kotzen|
|19||#Full Mast||(2C)||60||0||A||Mike Azzie|
|5||#Leslie Shadowliner||(2G)||60||0||A||Robbie Hill|
|17||#Monks Hood||(2C)||60||0||A||Alistair Gordon|
|13||Morning Catch||(2G)||60||0||A||Joey Ramsden|
|6||Mujallad (AUS)||(2C)||60||0||AT||Mike de Kock|
|20||Opera Royal||(2C)||60||0||BA||Glen Kotzen|
|1||Pack Leader||(2C)||60||0||A||Glen Kotzen|
|12||Purple Diamond||(2C)||60||0||A||Sean Tarry|
|15||#Sand And Sea||(2C)||60||0||A||Dennis Drier|
|2||Sea King||(2C)||60||0||A||Glen Kotzen|
|18||Trojan Harbour (AUS)||(2C)||60||0||A||Gareth van Zyl|
|4||Warrior’s Rest||(2C)||60||0||A||Sean Tarry|
This pair are likely to attract the most support in the betting but the Joey Ramsden-trained Oratorio colt Ancestry, that failed by a head in the Durban Golden Horseshoe, had won very convincingly over 1 600m in his previous start and could be a serious contender. Third home in that race was the Tarry-trained Captain Al colt Captain And Master that was strongly fancied to win and could well make amends here.
Sand And Sea had won with such authority at Scottsville that the Twice Over colt showed he was something special and should be a massive runner while Trojan Harbour from the Gareth Van Zyl yard beat Ancestry easily over 1 400m in the Gatecrasher Stakes before being well beaten in the Durban Golden Horseshoe.
The R750 000 Thekwini Stakes will see the first three fillies past the post in the Gold Circle Golden Slipper come together for another fight for glory and the draws for the day certainly favour the Tarry-trained Desert Rhythm that won by a length over the 1 400m race. Let It Flow from the yard of Lucky Houdalakis that finished second and the Drier-trained Tsessebe have both been allotted wide preliminary draws for the race but from the 1 600m start the wider draws may not be as crucial and that should not detract too much from their chances.
R750 000 1600m
THEKWINI STAKES (Grade 1)
For 2 year-old Fillies
No Apprentice Allowance
|19||Aurelia Cotta||(2F)||60||0||A||Sean Tarry|
|27||Barbie Doll||(2F)||60||0||A||Gavin van Zyl|
|8||Bridal Veil||(2F)||60||0||A||Charles Laird|
|6||Desert Rhythm||(2F)||60||0||AT||Sean Tarry|
|10||Flichity By Farr||(2F)||60||0||A||Alyson Wright|
|21||#Flying Fable||(2F)||60||0||A||Mike Azzie|
|20||Folk Dance||(2F)||60||0||A||Paul Peter|
|4||Frederico’s Dream||(2F)||60||0||A||Mike Azzie|
|5||Green Ice||(2F)||60||0||A||Alyson Wright|
|2||Holly’s Vision||(2F)||60||0||A||Gareth van Zyl|
|13||#Just My Style||(2F)||60||0||A||Gavin van Zyl|
|1||La Bella Mia||(2F)||60||0||A||Weiho Marwing|
|17||#Lady In Black||(2F)||60||0||A||Dennis Drier|
|31||Let It Flow||(2F)||60||0||A||Lucky Houdalakis|
|12||Luna Child||(2F)||60||0||A||Glen Kotzen|
|26||Neptune’s Rain||(2F)||60||0||A||Duncan Howells|
|9||On The Bounce||(2F)||60||0||BA||Charles Laird|
|24||Princess Peach||(2F)||60||0||A||Glen Kotzen|
|3||Rockin Russian||(2F)||60||0||A||Sean Tarry|
|23||Spring Breeze||(2F)||60||0||A||Mike Azzie|
|11||Too Phat To Fly||(2F)||60||0||A||Glen Kotzen|
|14||#Torrey Pines||(2F)||60||0||A||Johan Janse van Vuuren|
There are only two runners from the Grade 1 Allan Robertson Championship at Scottsville among the entries. Neptune’s Rain from the Duncan Howells yard finished third to Brave Mary in the sprint and the Glen Kotzen-trained Princess Peach took fourth place. Neptune’s Rain was beaten just over two lengths by Desert Rhythm in the Gold Circle Golden Slipper and could give a better account of herself over the extra distance and has to be respected if she runs.
Indications are that racegoers will be treated to two thrilling juvenile races on the day where the eLan Gold Cup over 3 200m will be the main attraction and, as always, will be another great spectacle.