Anton Marcus and Bernard Fayd’herbe are the only two jockeys in the 2018 renewal of the R1 million Gr1 Cape Guineas to have experienced the thrill of winning the prestigious classic.
Marcus, who won the race in the 90’s as well as in 2007 on Jay Peg for his brother Basil and in 2011 on Variety Club for Joey Ramsden, pilots the favourite One World.
Fayd’herbe won it in 2013 on Elusive Gold for Brett Crawford and in 2014 on Summerhill stallion Act Of War for Joey Ramsden.
The Milnerton-based Ramsden will be keen to see history repeat itself as Fayd’herbe is his man in charge again as he throws a leg over Twist Of Fate. The R20 000 Favour Stud bred son of Master Of My Fate is already a Gr3 winner and he is expected to make the pace – a dangerous sort out front!
Jockey MJ Byleveld, who would have been on a hat-trick this year, will watch the race from the grandstand as he is recovering from an operation.
Anton Marcus will be in the saddle on One World, who bids to give trainer Vaughan Marshall a unique Captain Al-Gr1 double. This is thought to be a likely world record for a trainer to saddle three straight winners of a Gr1 race, all sired by a previous winner of the contest.
The only other trainer with Guineas credits is Mike de Kock, who saddles Soqrat.
De Kock won the race in 1999 with Horse Chestnut, as well as in 2002 with Flight Alert and Domino Man in 2003, who shocked the backers of the red hot favourite Dynasty – one of only three times the champion was beaten.
Dynasty, who sired 2014 winner Act Of War, has one representative tomorrow in the Highlands-bred Majestic Mozart.
Traditionally run on the first Saturday of February, the Cape Guineas changed its name to the Western Province Guineas in 1945 and in 1955 was run for the first time as the Cape Of Good Hope Guineas for a stake of £4200.
On Saturday we race for a stake of R1 million – unchanged for the past five years.
The Guineas was the flagship event on the Milnerton Turf Club programme for a lifetime. The track where once upon a time, the ‘surf met the turf’ boasted one of the best racing surfaces in Africa, borne out by the statistics which saw it host 52 meetings in 1978 .
The first Guineas winner Marion Island was bred by George Kramer at his Broadlands Stud and was raced by Mr & Mrs R Engestrom and Mr J Carney, who was also his trainer. The horse changed stables to Syd Garrett sometime after his Guineas win and went on to win the first of the £10 000 Mets in 1957.
In 1963 Cape Mellow-wood came on board as Guineas sponsors until 1970. The race was without a sponsor from 1971 to 1974. Against the background of the Cape Town Festival of 1975 the race was branded the Argus Festival Guineas and won by the brilliant son of Kirch Flambee, Gatecrasher.
The classic became the Richelieu Guineas in 1978 and in the next two decades had various sponsors from Topsport Bloodline, to Bloodstock South Africa, the Cape Premier Yearling Sale and Grand Parade Investments.
The honour roll of winners boasts many of our most famous horses. Three of them, in Colorado King, Hawaii and Shah Abbas subsequently went to the United States, to continue their distinguished careers .
The modern era winners includes the galloping goldmine, Empress Club, the ill-fated star Horse Chestnut. Two past winners in Captain Al and champion Jet Master have flagbearers in Saturday’s line-up.Jet Master’s sire sons Master Of My Fate and Pomodoro have representatives in Twist Of Fate and Cirillo.