The R300 000 Gr3 Track And Ball Derby formerly run under classic conditions for three-year-olds at level weights at Clairwood, is now open to all horses at weight-for-age plus penalties and is run over 2400m on the Scottsville Inside Track today.
The Joey Ramsden-trained 6yo Captain Al gelding Disco Al is back to defend his title after he set the class record for 2 400m at Scottsville when winning this race last year – but his recent form is less than encouraging.
Anton Marcus takes the ride ahead of his more enthusiastic looking stablemate Coltrane, who has better form on face value.
Disco Al had a prep when 8 lengths off Solid Speed in the Betting World 1900 – that was his first run after a long break following his unplaced effort in the Sansui Summer Cup.
Both are dogged hardknocking stayers and Joey will have them fit.
Dean Kannemeyer’s progressive stayer Cape Speed has won his opening two SA Champions Season starts in good style and comes in here on 55 kgs as a fit and decent 3yo, who will be well suited to the 2400m test.
He looks a really decent sort.
With no Sean Tarry runner in the field, S’manga Khumalo has been engaged to ride the British-bred Kingston Mines for the Mike de Kock stable.
The five-year-old failed to feature in the recent Lonsdale Stirrup Cup but he had finished in the first three in his two previous feature events in the Cape.
Storm Warning from the Johan Janse van Vuuren stable never featured in the Lonsdale either but had finished third in the Gold Bowl before that and is a dour stayer on his day.
Brain Wiid’s Derby Trial winner Bankable Teddy is an interesting runner who looks eminently suited to this type of race if he adapts to Scottsville.
The son of Bankable was only 2,20 lengths back to Rabada in the Daily News 2000, when marginally outclassed and a reproduction of that sort of effort would bring him into the picture in this company.
Andre Nel’s French Revolution sparked when chasing Kitty’s Destiny home on the polytrack last time out.
He will enjoy the stamina test and is a 5yo with a touch of class who is yet to fulfil his earlier promise.
A case can be made for the likes of Kitty’s Destiny and even Deputy Jud if they stay.
But we are going with Cape Speed and Bankable Teddy to hold the Ramsden duo.
Breaking Tradition – Or The Right Step?
Gold Circle announced in 2014 that the Betting World Derby and the Betting World Oaks would be opened to all ages at weight-for-age terms.
“With the main focus of the three year olds during Champions Season being the KRA Guineas’, The Daily News 2000, the Woolavington Stakes and obviously the Vodacom Durban July, the Derby and Oaks have been downgraded over the years and have struggled to find a consistent place in the programme,” said Racing and Marketing Executive Graeme Hawkins at the time.
Hawkins added that there was international precedent, such as the Irish St Leger and the Yorkshire Oaks, to vary the terms and conditions of some of the “traditional” Classics and they felt that the quality and depth of both races would be enhanced.
“In addition, there are no weight-for-age races in South Africa over the distance and the overall programme for stayers would benefit from the change,” he added.