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Who Scared The Opposition Away?

De Kock could have a power hand

The Gr1 Daily News 2000 to be run at Greyville on Saturday 1 June has attracted a high quality entry of only eight 3yo’s.

The De Kock star Hawwaam (Pic – JC Photos)

The prestigious feature looks likely to be dominated by Mike de Kock, who last won the race in 2013 with present day exciting sire Vercingetorix, and who holds three of the eight tickets.

The De Kock pair of recent Premier’s Champions Challenge runaway winner Hawwaam and Horse Chestnut Stakes victor Soqrat head the tables off a 121 rating.

Next is Joey Ramsden’s recent KRA Guineas winner Twist Of Fate, who could relish the 2000m at Greyville.

While the presence of the power players is thought to have frightened off much of the opposition, it has also been suggested that the recent relaxation of the handicapping guidelines by the NHA has left owners of the more modestly rated horses fearful of risking a possible once off ‘out-of-the-skin’ effort that could see them lumbered with a premium rating.

R2 000 000 2000m (Turf)
DAILY NEWS 2000 (Grade 1)
0 Atyaab (AUS) Mike de Kock 104
0 Bunker Hunt Justin Snaith 112
0 Charles Brett Crawford 104
0 Hawwaam Mike de Kock 121
0 Soqrat (AUS) Mike de Kock 121
0 Thanksgiving Duncan Howells 106
0 Twist Of Fate Joey Ramsden 117
0 Zillzaal Sean Tarry 105

The fairer sex equivalent has attracted an entry of twelve, with Cape challengers Front And Centre and recent KRA Fillies Guineas winner Santa Clara joint top-rated on 112.

Cape Fillies Guineas winner Front And Centre (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Sean Tarry’s SA Oaks winner Return Flight, who is in the form of her life, should be an interesting challenger to the top duo.

R1 000 000 2000m (Turf)
WOOLAVINGTON 2000 (Grade 1)
2 Bize Alec Laird 97
8 Blossom Mike de Kock 103
12 Chitengo Alec Laird 95
3 Count Dubucks Glen Kotzen 79
10 Front And Centre Brett Crawford 112
9 Madonna Justin Snaith 82
5 Princess Irene Brett Crawford 95
1 Return Flight Sean Tarry 109
11 Santa Clara Candice Bass-Robinson 112
6 Seville Orange Lucky Houdalakis 99
7 Silvano’s Pride Justin Snaith 106
4 Snapscan Glen Kotzen 81

Supplementary entries for both races closes at 11h00 on Friday 24 May.

Declarations are due at 11h00 on Monday 27 May.

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24 comments on “Who Scared The Opposition Away?

  1. Ronny says:

    We only have 1 KZN trainer and horse participating. So sad..

  2. Jack Swarts says:

    Where are the horses from this 3YO crop on which owners spent tens and tens of millions of rands at the CTS and BSA yearling and Ready2Run sales. Gone lame, broke down or just plain not good enough?

  3. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Q – Who scared the Opposition away ?
    A – Hawwaam

  4. Colin George says:

    Sad to c so few runners engaged
    Besides winning, 2nd,3rd,4th prize up for grabs
    Remember free my heart back in the days, he won but never ran the July, this is a premium race so trainers from PE, natal fill the spaces, make it exciting or else it becomes boring

  5. Reagan Simons says:

    Go Soqrat and Randall Simons.

  6. Armchair observer says:

    This looks like being a proper horse race where the draw matters little and tactical astuteness and ability mean the most. Apart from One World, Vardy and National Park this is the best field for the money. Hopefully Mike ensures that the pace is decent and the race goes to the best horse as the only potential problem is who sets the pace and how severe is it.

    1. Editor says:

      These are entries – still supps on Friday and scratchings to come on Monday

  7. Dylan says:

    I’d still rather see a small field of top horses with a genuine pacemaker like Godolphin and Coolmore use in the Gr1’s than a big field and hard luck stories where some low rated horse gets in the way. It’s a great race and the quality is way more important than the quantity but please please may the key players ensure a pacemaker is supplemented or in.. maybe the Cape Derby Winner, he didn’t hang around last weekend.

  8. Colin Reddy says:

    Smaller the field ,bigger the chance of an upset..Hawaam 1st time Greyville, short straight will catch him out Danger….ŹILLZAAL

  9. Raymond says:

    Charles for the DN 2000

  10. Ronny says:

    The Cape Derby 2019 formline does not look that good…Zilzall has been comfortably beaten by Hawaam twice..but it will be an exciting race

  11. Ashwin R says:

    Hawaam will win and withdrawn from the July


    Why does Hollywoodbets persist with the price of 100/30 for Hawwaam to win the July ?

  13. Rian says:

    I wonder William??? Tentacles spread far and wide 33/100 for Daily News should be early Christmas


    And on another point Ronny, take a look at the WOOLAVINGTON 2000 (Grade 1).

    12 Fillies nominated, not one from Natal. Very sad hey ? In addition, 3 fillies rated 79, 81 & 82.

    This been a R 1 000 000 race, for the 4 provinces to have a right royal showdown over the 2000m.

    More disappointment medication for me to take.

  15. Jay August says:

    William, here is some quick maths. There are no more than 5000 horses in the racing population – about half are fillies or mares – lets say 2500 of them.

    Of those at best 1% are Grade 1 quality which is around 25 fillies or mares and of those only half will be suited to the distance or be ready to run – so that leaves 12-13 fillies max which should contest a race of this type.

    I’m therefore not at all surprised by the low number of entries. I’d rather see 6 decent and solid Grade 1 fillies participate than have an 18 horse free for all. Do we really want to see a Grade 1 race filled with sub 90 rated horses?

    Those same stats hold true for the 2000. Only the very best horses should contest Grade 1 races and there are not very many of them to begin with. Grade 1 races should always be about quality not quantity.

  16. For sure, nobody wants total no-hopers in the field.

    At a cursory look, it’s still disappointing for me that in a 3 year olds eleventh month of training, nationally, so few would be nominated. Where are the late developers, just an additional 2 or 3 three ?

    The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) in June over 2400m is just 6 months into the girls 3 year old career and they have an healthy entry. Often they have more than 12 and MR’s as low as 81.

    Thanks Jay. It appears that the Natal trainers just don’t get sent the more talented ones anymore.

    More medical expenses for me…..my nerves.

  17. Jay August says:

    William, I think it’s a natural tendency in the 11th month for the crop hierarchy to be mostly settled. Owners and trainers are still testing their classic horses in months 5 through 9 but by month 11 things are mostly settled, which is why I don’t think the low entry is anything to be concerned about. Actually I think it’s natural as a high entry implies a below average crop with nothing settled.

    In England they will also be getting entries from Ireland and a few from France, so the population pool is somewhat larger, apart from it being an earlier period in the classic year. Their classic crop is also only 3 months into the flat season and so many horses have two or three runs under the belt and hence have sub 90 ratings.

    You really need to get this “nerves” issue sorted, maybe the blue pill will help!


    Oh boy, the only blue tablets I’ve ever taken was De Witt’s Kidney pills. As a youngster, I took it for fun as it turned my pee blue.

  19. Cecil Pienaar says:

    LoL William and Blue Stone in the Army…..

  20. Rian says:

    Hey Cecil, your comment got me thinking !!!!
    How many Jocks went to Army????, maybe Ed can tell us

  21. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Geez Rian, yes, indeed now that you mention it… Certain jobs were excempted from National Service, not sure Jockeys…
    1981 my Intake….


    Goodness gracious Cecil, now you bring up something that we could take to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. With my Belgian Passport I wasn’t even obliged to go to the army but family circumstances dedicated that I had to.

    In retaliation to their medication, I loaded off food rations, to the people of Atteridgeville, from a Samill . on the way back to camp. That was my contribution to the struggle.

    Back to more truths Cecil, how do you think the high draws will do over the four 1200’s tomorrow ?

    Bold Respect, CHIMICHURI RUN & Mardi Gras all high

  23. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hey William, LoL, yes, those were good times for me, with Air force, mostly in Durban….

    William, I honestly believe the high draws at my home track,, No issue at all, they’ll break into 2 groups with the Big fields. I expect ( hope ) the winner is in the 3 you mention, my fancy Mardi Gras, adding 12 for the upset.

    I am playing a bigger Jackpot with the favoured horses – adding 12 and 14 in Race 5. I fancy Frosted Gold, 13 the outsider in Race 6. Schippers and Snow dance, and one more ? scared of this race…

    Eish, traffic in Pmb t-m, only 3 times a year.
    Comrades, Dusi and this Race Day….

    Good Luck …

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