Local is just not lekker it seems when it comes to the Algoa Cup. It has been ten years since an East Cape-based runner won the race popularly known as the ‘PE July’.
With a dazzling out-of-town attack turning up again at Fairview today, it looks likely the silverware will remain in the Mother City.
Jacques Strydom is the man who boasts the distinction of that local celebration in 2009, when with brother Piere, he won the Cup with Surfin’ USA. On Sunday he is back with two local stalwarts in Frikkie and Onesie. Both must have outside place chances.
But it is Glen Kotzen that is the man to be watched. The Paarl-based conditioner won the Fairview feature on Friday, the Kenilworth feature on Saturday – and is primed to make it a treble today.
The first of his duo, Cat Daddy is a smart improving gelding who conceded 8,5kgs to the good 3yo Cane Lime ‘N Soda when beaten a neck last time. This will be his third run in a third province but he looks a definite contender for top honours.
Ollivander, now with Tara Laing after a frustrating career with Candice Bass-Robinson where he showed plenty but failed to graduate beyond a one-time winner, ran second in this race behind Nebula in 2017 and looks nicely weighted off the 52kg mark for a big effort. He didn’t appear to enjoy the poly at his last two starts but looks sure to strip fit.
Nathan Kotzen brings Tommy Grand down from KZN where he has maintained a consistent form profile. He is 3kgs better off with Cat Daddy for a 2,90 length beating on the Hollywoodbets Greyville profile last time. So there won’t be too much in it.
Gavin Smith’s Story Of My Life was beaten almost ten lengths by Magnificent Seven in the 2018 renewal and is probably at his best over slightly shorter.
Sharon Kotzen’s game Just Chaos gets the headgear removed after losing form recently.
Former Ennion runner Mangrove has produced two fair polytrack efforts and strips fit on Sunday. The seven-time winner would not be lifting the Cup out of turn and hails from a form stable.
Second of the Glen Kotzen duo, the highly regarded Duc D’Orange has drawn wide and has an outside place chance on his better form.
The mare Seeking Wisdom is always thereabouts but the Cape raiders are preferred.
Trainer Andre Nel has raided this destination from the West Coast with some success and both his pair of Run Red and Crome Yellow are not without a chance.
Carrying top weight and possibly in need of a run after a 13 week break, Run Red has it all to do and stablemate Crome Yellow looks to have more ticks in his boxes. This powerful front-runner jumps from a nice gate with local specialist Greg Cheyne in the irons.
Piere Strydom rides the first of the Snaith duo in the slightly disappointing Platinum Prince – winless since July 2019 and an obviously frustrating horse to own and train. The son of Silvano was seventh and over 4 lengths off Nebula in the 2017 renewal of the Algoa Cup. While he has a wide draw, Piere Strydom looks the right kind of jockey to get the capable 6yo back to winning ways.
Coming off a nine week break, stablemate Knights Templar enjoys the services of Richard Fourie and has shown enough ability to challenge.
The 2018 East Cape Derby winner American Landing has failed to deliver on his early expectations. He is winless since that day in May 2018 at this very track when beating Widow’s Lamp by over 5 lengths. His recent form suggests he could produce a big effort.
The Kaknis pair of Victory March and Captain’s Vista look to have plenty to do.
The newly sponsored Socrasync Toro Ya Africa Algoa Cup is a typically wide open handicap.
History suggests we narrow it down to the Kotzen, Snaith, Nel and Crawford runners. That leaves us nine options. Cat Daddy is the choice to beat Platinum Prince and Ollivander. But go wide.