The last two Sun Met winners were bred from non SA-based sires and our local breeders will be keen to pull one back for the home based product next Saturday.
The 2016 winner Smart Call, a daughter of Mauritzfontein stallion Ideal World, was the last progeny of a stallion standing on African soil to win the race. Her Kingmambo sire is represented by the progressive 4yo Rainbow Bridge in the big one.
With the final Cape Premier Yearling Sale draft of the champion Captain Al going through the ring at the Cape Town Convention Centre on Wednesday 23 January, trainer Vaughan Marshall will be hoping he can pull some rank magic out of his bag.
Marshall, who won the Met with La Fabulous in 1996, produced Captain Al’s – and coincidentally, and much less forgettably, Markus Jooste’s – one and only Met winner with Hill Fifty Four.
Bred by Klawervlei out of the two time winning Sportsworld mare, Sports Dance, the gelding, after running second behind Martial Eagle in 2013, broke the Jooste best previous record of four Met second place finishes achieved with Legal Eagle (twice), and also Bravura in 2012.
On 26 January, there could be something of an omen in the fact Marshall saddles another top-class son of Captain Al in the Foster home bred Tap O’Noth. The Cape Guineas winner will be ridden by MJ Byleveld – who was on bridesmaid Hill Fifty Four in 2013.
Another Captain Al hopeful in the 2019 Met line-up is the Brett Crawford trained Moutonshoek bred Undercover Agent, a R325 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, who ran a slightly flat race in the Queen’s Plate.
The future stallion prospect is yet to go the 2000m but is out of a London News mare who won at 2200m.
The Met barrier draw will be broadcast live on Tellytrack (Dstv 239) this afternoon. No specific time has been advised.