Mike de Kock won the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes with Rafeef last year and his double chance rests with one of only two 3yo’s in the field.
Dynasty gelding Sir David Baird ran a great race when only caught late by Guineas contender Surcharge in the Tony Ruffel Stakes last time. Gavin Lerena, who was aboard when this fellow won the KZN Guineas Trial, rides him again.
Topweight Kangaroo Jack ran a close-up fourth in this race last year and Piere Strydom gets the best out of him. A class sort who cannot be left out.
The super-quick Graduation Day, now under new ownership, tries ground but cannot be recommended with any confidence in view of his unsoundness. The 7yo has only his thirteenth start.
The uber consistent Mike Azzie galloper Will Pays ran fifth here last year but is in decent form and runs for Craig Zackey. He should hold Captain Aldo on his last run and looks to be rewarded for his consistency by going close here.
Matador Man appears to be struggling to get into his races, but his form is not the worst. He cannot give start over this trip and the others may be too quick for him.
The St John Gray-trained evergreen hardknocker Captain Aldo won this race in 2016 and is currently racing in the form of his life. While his draw will not be in his favour, he also has to withstand a 1,5kgs weight swing against him for a nostril beating of Will Pays at the Vaal last time out.
Amazing Strike beat Captain Aldo over the course and distance last time out but faces the St John Gray galloper on 1,5kgs worse terms for a 0,60 length beating and one gets the feeling that there will be little to choose between these two seasoned competitors again.
The only filly in the race, She’s A Giver gets thrown in the deep end against the boys with a wide draw to overcome. She found her better form with a good win last time out.
Coral Fever has his first run since the Met and may need the run and a bit more to show his best.
Gr3 Byerley Turk winner Africa Rising found a timeous return to form at the Vaal last time and will prefer the extra 200m here. Well drawn, he has a shout on best form.
Mike Azzie’s Full Mast is the other 3yo. Well drawn and with Weichong Marwing up, Full Mast has a bit more to find after beating Dan The Lad in a Vaal handicap last time out.
So it’s wide open. Kangaroo Jack has the class – but does this track suit him? Captain Aldo and Will Pays are super consistent. Sir David Baird found his better form last time. Go wide in the Pick 6!