With much of the field having their first run as a 3yo, Western Cape racing’s opening feature of the season, the R150 000 Listed Sophomore Sprint, sets the tone for what should be a sizzling summer on all fronts.
As the name indicates, the class are now in their second year at school.
Apparently the word ‘sophomore’ is derived from the Greek terms, sophos, meaning ‘wise,’ and moros, meaning ‘foolish, dull’. So while the connotation is not exactly flattering, these are some of our potential future equine stars that could be entertaining us over the next few seasons.
Run over the Kenilworth straight 1200m, the race is restricted to 3yo’s and the weights are framed with a base of 52kgs for maidens and one-time winners, with each additional win attracting a 2kg penalty. Over and above that, Graded and Listed winners are hit with penalties. After all that, nine one-time winners and a maiden will line up at level weights.
The Sporting Post top-rated King Of Gems was a 12-1 winner of his debut start over the course and distance in April and after two fair sprints, he produced an eyecatching fourth under two lengths off Snow Report in the Langerman. While his stablemate Finding Camelot finished a length ahead there, and on jockey engagements appears to be the stable elect, King Of Gems must be a serious contender.
While Finding Camelot is also the officially top-rated runner in the field, he could find the 1200m on the sharp side and has already shown a preference for the mile.
Captain Tatters beat Langerman winner Snow Report on debut and then ran on well for second behind the Hong Kong-bound Armando in the Somerset 1200. Rested 17 weeks, it is difficult discarding the Fourie – Snaith combination on any day, and he should be included.
The speedy Ground Control was a length behind Captain Tatters in the Somerset, and then choked up when trailed off at his only start this term. He looks much better than that and could make amends.
Three Two Charlie followed up Durbanville maiden win with a 3,25 length third behind Armando in the Cape Nursery. His first start this season saw him staying on late behind the highly regarded Macthief at Durbanville last week. He will be sharper this time.
His stablemate Constable has not seen action since his course and distance maiden victory fourteen weeks ago. He has plenty of scope for improvement.
Djokocovic had excuses in the Langerman and may be better reverting to the sprint track.
Piet Botha’s Warrior Tiger looks to have it tough as a thrice raced maiden.
Call Me Al ran green on debut but then improved to win his second start. He is another who could be anywhere on the improvement scale.
Glen Kotzen’s Hardfallingrain has produced two good runs over Saturday’s track and trip – winning his second start. He falls into the same category as Call Me Al.
King Of Gems, Captain Tatters and Ground Control could be the three to fight it out – with Three Two Charlie the fit dark horse. The recent maiden winners have scope and a surprise cannot be ruled out.
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