Serious prize money and innovation have captured the imagination of owners and trainers with a smart field of sixteen lining up for the inaugural running of the generously fattened R1 million KZN Breeders 1600 at Greyville on Sunday. The hype generated by this feature proves again that anything is possible with a healthy cheque book and some out-of-the-box thinking.
Besides banging the stake up 400% on last year’s base prize for this historic race, the forward -thinking KZN Breeders have announced a bonus of R1 million for any horse who can win the new R1 million Juvenile race to be held on July Day 2013, as well as the KZN Breeders 1600 for the next two years thereafter.
The KZN Breeders 1600, a conditions race , is open to all KZN-bred three and four year olds and the conditions and nature of the race has drawn a rather mixed crew of varying sorts of hopefuls, in a contest that should provide serious fun and games for punters.
That said, there are probably not too many that could realistically win it.
A the weights, we are leaning towards the 2011 Vodacom Durban July hopeful Black Wing, who has relocated from Paul Gatsby to Brett Crawford and won his second start down in the Cape in emphatic fashion in a Pinnacle Plate. One of six Kahals in the race, his first start this Champions Season saw him finish a rather moderate fourth and 4,65 lengths behind Rushing Wind in an Allowance Plate at Clairwood over a mile.
He never really looked dangerous there, but it was a fair field and he should prove a far bigger factor here.
Last year’s winner The Mouseketeer enjoys the services of Anton Marcus from an excellent draw and must be considered a big runner. A winner of the Highveld Sand Achiever award, the son of Kahal can certainly run on his day, but has the lost the plot after his purple patch on the sand.
The Mouseketeer’s last run when running on late for three lengths behind Where’s My Chop in a 1200m Pinnacle Plate at the Vaal would have taught us nothing. He was eased in the running, and that was also short of his best.
Ormode Ferraris’ Knock On Wood is an interesting runner, and his last run when fifth and 5,75 lengths behind July fancy Eton Square in the Jubilee Handicap at Turffontein, shows what he is capable of.
He was giving the year younger Van Zyl horse some four kilos and was staying on well. This four-time winner from fourteen starts is very capable, and with Bernard Fayd’herbe up from a fair draw, he could make his KZN debut a winning one.
Garth Puller and Felix Coetzee join forces with the promising 3yo Shahruhk, who jumps from the best draw. The son of King Of Kings has won 2 of his 10 starts, and is highly rated by his shrewd conditioner.
He was allowed to stride very freely last time by young apprentice Julius Mariba, when being collared late in an MR101 Handicap by the talented Brown Penny. Shahruhk has not distinguished himself with his two mile efforts, but with the good draw and a top pilot, he may prove a different factor.
Mike De Kock’s smart Checcetti heads the group of five fillies,and the Jacaranda winner is never far off the action. A winner of 4 of her 18 starts, the daughter of Kahal ran a cracker behind the champion filly Princess Victoria in the Tibouchina Stakes three weeks ago, when finishing 3,60 lengths off. She jumps from a good draw of 4 with the title-chasing Anthony Delpech aboard, and must come into the reckoning.
Joe Soma’s Acapella has found good form at the right time, and has a handy galloping weight of 53,5kgs. He has probably had his confidence dented with a shocking 18 draw. He will be partnered by Muzi Yeni, who is riding high after last weekend’s Betting World Derby win with Master Plan, but will have to get very lucky from his barrier position.
He has shown an ability to race from off or right up with the pace, and this could count in his favour.
Back In Black
Black Wing showed enormous promise as a younger horse and gets the perfect opportunity to confirm that he has the ability and a heart to match. He looks weighted to win this and is fit and in form. He will never get a better chance to earn this sort of money for this little effort than on Saturday. He is our confident selection.
Knock On Wood and Checcetti look the likely dangers, while The Mouseketeer’s enthusiasm for competition will have to be taken on trust. Bearing in mind that Anton Marcus rides him.
Garth Puller’s Shahruhk is not just making up the numbers,and warrants quartet consideration.
Take your first step to your 2013 runner and diarise the Suncoast Yearling Sale on 5 and 6 July in Durban.