Regarded as a genuine and honest sort, the Corne Spies-trained Cape Rebel could well go all the way in the East Cape Poly Challenge this season.
In a race weighted on merit rating bands, there are some decent ex-major centre challengers in the line-up to muddy the waters
Lyle Hewitson, the Dippin Blu first-choice jockey, rides Peach Delight. This hard-knocking mare is as honest as the day is long and from a decent 2 draw comes into the calculations. She took Sir Duke all the way to the wire in the corresponding race in 2017 and based on that level of ability at her second run after a rest, following an accident after getting loose, she must be a serious challenger. Trainer Yvette Bremner confirmed on Tuesday that her charge was fit and well, but has plenty of respect for Cape Rebel.
All the attention will be on Cape Rebel who was a fairly surprise winner of the East Cape Poly Challenge first leg – and in the absence of star Juan Two Three, who he beat by half a length, must rate a runner again. The son of Rebel King has sadly drawn out wide though and he has to give 2kgs to the solid mare Sao Paulo who was 2,75 lengths behind in the first leg. That said she has drawn a gate wider than Cape Rebel and has a task on her hands.
In the absence on a Mauritius contract of regular Gavin Smith jockey JP van der Merwe, the in-form Warren Kennedy rides the former Joburg-based Prince Of Orange, who showed nicely at his first start on this surface last month. He comes in 2kgs better off with his conqueror there Fire In The Belly, who has to beat a wide draw to earn on Friday.
Course and distance specialist Miracle Bureau is the preference of the Tara Laing stable elect but the son of Trippi is drawn in Uitenhage and will need plenty of luck on his side.
Greg Cheyne rides Breakfast Club from the best draw and the son of Visionaire has shown steady improvement in his two starts here since relocating from KZN.
Former Joburg racer Dawnbreaker has run two good races after winning on debut here. He was slow away and may have found the first leg too quick after that when staying on for fourth behind Cape Rebel. He runs in the blinkers again and is worth inclusion on best form.
The gutsy Cape Rebel faces his biggest challenge to date. Peach Delight is a strong galloping sort, while the likes of Dawnbreaker, Fire In The Belly and Prince Of Orange are dangers. Breakfast Club ran on well last Friday and he will strip fit.