The Cape visitors add plenty of interest to Saturday’s R300 000 Gr2 Hawaii Stakes at Turffontein, but they could well be racing for pocket money. Mike De Kock’s Galileo’s Destiny looks cherry ripe to get back to his winning ways.
The competitive needle lent to proceedings by the raiders will be appreciated by punters, who have a feast of exciting racing on the ten race programme. Many are likely to banker the De Kock coupling, despite any provincial bias. The race is complicated somewhat as many are using it as a seasonal pipe opener.
The Galileo gelding Galileo’s Destiny proved himself to be a way above average 3yo of his year, and ran excellent places in both the Gr1 SA Derby and the Gr1 SA Classic. His career derailed somewhat after a poor effort in the 2011 Vodacom Durban July, and he was rested for seven months and ran only thrice in 2012.
Gelding appears to have made a magical difference to his attitude though. He bounced back into the limelight with a breathtaking late effort in very soft conditions over Saturday’s course and distance in a Conditions Plate in mid February. That was despite stumbling badly in running.
He swooped late under Robbie Fradd to collar the talented 3yo War Horse and also had Snowdon 2,25 lengths behind. He received 6kgs from Snowdon there and meets the Ferraris runner at sobering level weights.
His stablemate Festival Of Fire is the only representative of the fairer sex in the race, and is a lethal 1400m specialist. The daughter of Kahal has not run since early December when running a fair fifth behind her stablemate Rumya in the Cape Fillies Guineas. She had registered a smart double against her own sex prior to that and comes in here in the hands of Anthony Delpech.
The eternally enigmatic talent of Link Man also returns after a rest. He has not run since a disappointing blank in the Merchants, and could be just about anything here with Kevin Shea in the saddle and jumping as he does from a good draw.
The Geoff Woodruff trained Approachable has won his last two outings over the Vaal 1400m and steps up a few notches here. He will be ridden by Glen Hatt and is a fit fellow in good form. While yet to win anything at this level, he could challenge the better known brands.
Ormonde Ferraris and jockey Nooresh Juglall have formed a formidable combination and they team up with the hardknocking Western Winter gelding Snowdon, who was not blessed with a great draw at 8.
Snowdon, as we observed while considering the merits of Galileo’s Destiny, is some 6kgs better off with the De Kock runner for a 2,25 length deficit in a race where he ran freely and tired late.
Justin Snaith’s Changingoftheguard has been rested for over 3 months after a middle of the road fourth behind champion Variety Club in the WFA Green Point Stakes at end November. He was scratched from the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate with an elevated temperature , and his fitness is obviously in question.
Sean Tarry’s Whiteline Fever jumps from a 10 draw and is another who returns froma three month rest. He ran a fair sixth close up to Wagner in the Summer Cup after being cut into behind, and could come out fresh, although he should find this sharp. His stablemate, the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup winner Vertical Takeoff has not run for over 20 months and will in any event find this too short.
Gary Alexander’s Rebel Knight has not run for eight months and while favoured with a 2 draw is bound to need the outing. Mike Azzie’s Two Tone is no slouch, having won 7 of his 28 starts, but ran uplaced behind Kavanagh in this race last year and is probably happier down the sprint track.
The Mike Bass pair of Castlethorpe and Captain’s Secret are both capable on their day, but appear in the deep end here. Piere Strydom is the singular flicker of hope for Castlethorpe who returns to action after a dismal L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate effort. He ran on well in the Diadem at his penultimate effort, but has not won since May 2012, and will have to up his game to have a say.
Captain’s Secret bounced back to winning ways last time when cruising home in the Marula Sprint at Clairwood, but needs to confirm that run over the extra 200m here from the worst of the draw.
With gelding appearing to have done the trick, we expect Galileo’s Destiny to win again and he should prove difficult to peg back. His stablemate Festival Of Fire loves the course and distance, while Snowdon and Approachable are always thereabouts.