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Kotzen Eyes On Sun Met

Feature double for Dynasty

Highlands’ super stallion Dynasty registered a smart feature double on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate day when 3yo Eyes Wide Open played himself into Sun Met contention with an impressive victory in the R400 000 Glorious Goodwood Gr2 Peninsula Handicap.

Anthony Andrews keeps Eyes Wide Open going to beat Anthony Delpech and The Slade (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

Earlier Dynasty’s son Our Emperor won the Gr3 Chairman’s Cup and Eyes Wide Open rounded a great feature double here.

Anthony Andrews

Anthony Andrews

The only 3yo in a fifteen strong field of seasoned hardknockers, last season’s Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes winner Eyes Wide Open benefitted from a great ride by the underrated Anthony Andrews and put his Sun Met hand up – at the same time putting three ordinary runs this season well behind him.

Trainer Glen Kotzen explained the rationale behind a last minute decision to supplement the lightly-raced galloper into the Gr2 Peninsula Handicap.

“I am blessed with some really lovely 3yo’s and I wasn’t keen to have them all bump each other in the Derby. So I chatted to Hugo (Hattingh) and we thought we’d take on the older horses and see where we stand with them, before making any decisions. If he pulls up sound, I think we may go the Met route after this,” he explained.

Eyes Wide Open had missed the Cape Guineas with a respiratory ailment and the Woodhill Racing trainer paid tribute to his leading owner for his patience. “It always pays you back in the end,” he quipped.

As to why Anthony Andrews had gotten the ride ahead of the winner’s owners Chrigor Stud sponsored Richard Fourie, who rode Ollivander, the explanation was a simple one.

Glen Kotzen

Glen Kotzen – nice winner

“Eyes Wide Open was supplemented. Richard (Fourie) had already accepted on Ollivander. So Anthony (Andrews) was available and he rides work here and is an up-and-coming rider. It worked out well,” added Kotzen.

Andrews had Eyes Wide Open five lengths off the pacesetting Milton in sixth and kept his head in the straight as inexperience saw his mount lug inwards under pressure. With Dean Kannemeyer’s The Slade breathing down his neck, Eyes Wide Open always had the upper hand and went on well to score by 0,75 lengths in a time of 110,11 secs.

The Slade, an improving son of Philanthropist, is not entered for the Met, but maintained his good form, ahead of Platinum Prince in third.

Closest of the Sun Met hopefuls behind Eyes Wide Open was Horizon, who plodded into fourth 4,25 lengths off the winner – and a length ahead of Krambambuli.

The Highlands bred Eyes Wide Open is a son of Dynasty (Fort Wood) out of the one time winning Live Your Dreams (Jallad).

An R850 000 BSA KZN Sibaya Yearling Sale graduate, Eyes Wide Open has won 3 races with 1 place from 7 starts and took his stakes tally to R783 375.

Whisky Baron won this race last year before going on to win the Sun Met.


Gr2 Peninsula Handicap (SAf-Gr2)

Kenilworth, South Africa, January 6, R400k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.11

1 – EYES WIDE OPEN (SAF), 52.0, b c 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Live Your Dreams (SAF) by Jallad (USA). Owner Chrigor Stud (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mrs S Hattingh); Breeder Highlands; trainer GS Kotzen; jockey A Andrews
2 – The Slade (SAF), 54.0, ch g 4, Philanthropist (USA) – Aquatint (AUS) by Peintre Celebre (USA)
3 – Platinum Prince (SAF), 53.0, b g 4, Silvano (GER) – Spirit Ofthe Dance (SAF) by Goldmark (SAF)
Margins: 0.75, 2.00, 1.50

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5 comments on “Kotzen Eyes On Sun Met

  1. Anthony Andrews is a hard worker and pulls in some serious long odds winners. He works well with difficult horses and should really be rewarded with some more first string rides than he is currently getting.

  2. karel says:

    Has everyone gone mad?
    The Met is a weight-for-age race, so it’s a level playing field.
    Anyone thinking they can beat Legal Eagle or Marinaresco with a horse rated 10 or 15 points less is not well.
    There’s more.
    Legal Eagle is now 4/1 (or more) in the betting – even the bookies seem to have gone mad.
    Braam should love those odds!

    1. Bugs Bunny says:

      could not agree more. The visual impression of the genuine middle-distance horses almost catching Legal Eagle over 1,600m has led to many thinking they will definitely catch him over 2,000m; what they don’t realise is that the pace will not be anywhere near as strong in the Met as it was in the Queen’s Plate (and I am one of those who thinks that Orffer went too fast on Captain America and could have won with a more judicious ride).

      Legal Eagle will win the Met. and will win hands down. Unless Cascapedia is really very special and improves massively in three weeks.

      1. Brian says:

        Wow, you raise extremely pertinent points. Hind sight is brilliant but I wonder if you put that to Corne Orffer what his comment would be? I backed the Eagle but when I saw Copper Parade go down I really believed for a minute there could be an upset so I took a 20 each way. You have no idea how high I jumped up out of my chair when I saw him running on like that. Wasted a whole beer on my carpet and couch.
        you have a point about the pace being different in the Met but, Copper Parade was taking a cruise anyhow and if he kicks on like that he certainly can win. I wonder if Marcus saw him out the corner of his eye except I guess he was really sweating at that moment and kind of had his hands full. Being the professional he is I think he’s going to remember that in the Met though.

        Either way, what a race! I’m on the Copper Parade

    2. Rod Mattheyse says:

      If you use the Queens plate run in pure isolation Copper Force should get even closer.

      Few things to consider:

      Is Legal Eagle a real 123 considering Copper Force was 101 before the Queens Plate and raised to 108 for that effort. Does that make Legal Eagle a 109.

      At 109 a lot of the field come into play especially Oh Susanna

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