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Now For Day 2!

Race of the season looms!

The curtain came down on an entertaining first day of the 2020 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Racing Festival shortly after 5pm on Friday and we now move into the build-up to the headline event on Day 2.

It has been billed as having all the makings of the race of the season and with 50% of the field Gr1 winners, the hotly contested R1,5 million Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is set to live up to all expectations.

Do It Again beats Soqrat last year (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Our premier weight-for-age mile boasts one of its mostly keenly poised clashes in years with defending champion and dual July winner Do It Again facing Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge and the De Kock star duo of Hawwaam and Soqrat.

And does it even end there, with the local 4yo trio of Vardy, One World and Twist Of Fate keeping the top quartet honest?

The SP top-rated is the defending champion Do It Again, who blotted his copybook after a five month break when beaten just over 5 lengths by Vardy in the Green Point Stakes. The son of Twice Over has won 50% of his starts and will have vengeance written all over him as he is not the kind of fellow who enjoys losing. The recently quieter than usual Snaith yard are launching a massive attack on the LQP Festival with over 50 runners – more than some saddle all season – over the two days. If back to his best their big man Do It Again rates the horse to beat.

Top-class Rainbow Bridge (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Rainbow Bridge was beaten some 3 lengths by Do It Again in the 2019 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the son of Ideal World ran on steadily when hesitating late and finishing 3 lengths ahead of his arch-rival in the Green Point Stakes last time. The Champions Cup winner played second fiddle to Do It Again in the Gold Challenge and the July last season, but there is little to separate them on any fine Saturday.

Mike de Kock has cautioned us not to overlook Summer Cup runner-up Soqrat, who went down narrowly last year – as an immature 3yo – behind Do It Again, but who has furnished beautifully this term. He was given a mountain to climb in the Summer Cup last time and ran on like a trojan – but read more about what jockey Callan Murray has to say about his mount here

Can Soqrat topple Hawwaam?(Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

His stablemate Hawwaam has his penultimate start on African soil here and after his facile Premier Trophy victory, he holds the deserved position as the top-ranker on the Bookies’ boards. He now drops back to a mile and there are many who believe that he is not invincible over this trip. Anton Marcus rides him from a pole position draw and he put up an impressive 1000m gallop at Kenilworth last Saturday.

Undercover Agent hit a peak last season in the Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes and then stayed on well for third and 1,5 lengths behind One World in the Matchem. He was beaten 4 lengths by One World after hitting the front at the top of the straight in this race last year and was cramped late in the Green Point when beaten 4,40 lengths by Vardy – whom he meets on 2kgs better terms here.

The least experienced runner in the field, the constantly improving Vardy has won 5 of his 8 starts and started his 4yo campaign in style when bulleting home to win the Gr2 Green Point Stakes after a five month break last time. There were a few in that race in need of the run. This is his biggest career test to date and if the second run syndrome and his tendency to hang late in his races doesn’t disrupt his chances, he could be equal to the test.

Geen Point Stakes winner Vardy (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

The top-class One World stayed on strongly in the Green Point Stakes when beaten a length and giving Vardy a kilo. At level weights there should be little to choose between the duo here and jockey MJ Byleveld is riding with renewed vigour and confidence.

Vardy’s stablemate and former Joey Ramsden charge Twist Of Fate has run two fair races as a 4yo – his last when a 5 length third behind Hawwaam in receipt of a kilo in the Gr2 Premier Trophy. He is bound to strip a lot sharper here and based on his best 3yo form could trouble the top trio if given half a  chance.

Met prospect Pack Leader (Pic – Pauline Herman)

Glen Kotzen’s Sun Met supplementary entry Pack Leader has made good progress since a long rest and was beaten 4 lengths by Vardy in the Green Point Stakes. His main target looks likely to be the Met and his connections will probably be looking for him to confirm his readiness and be staying on here again.

Likely pacemaker from the Snaith yard, the Australian-bred Crown Towers has only had one outing this term, when beaten just over two lengths by Capoeira in a small field. He ran a fair third behind Infamous Fox in the Listed Darley Arabian on July day, but looks to have an uphill battle on his hands here at level weights.

There should be nothing to separate the top four at the line.

We are leaning towards Soqrat and Do It Again, to hold Hawwaam and Rainbow Bridge. But there’s Vardy, One World and Twist Of Fate to consider, too! Not easy and it could all come down to luck in running and conditions on the day. Don’t miss it – off at 16h45.

  • The Pick 6 starts with a carryover of R500 000 in Race 4 at 14h45. Estimated pool is R4 Million. After Friday’s knockout, we need to bounce back – any suggestions, welcome!

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15 comments on “Now For Day 2!

  1. Seattle Slew says:

    I’m expecting a 1-2 from the MDK yard, but I’m not entirely certain about the order. Obviously Hawwaam is the one to beat but Soqrat ran a blinder in this race last year and he seems to have come on very well as a 4-y-o. So I won’t be shocked if he upstages his more fancied stablemate.

    No disrespect to the others but only Do It Again at his very best could have prevented a Gauteng win and he looked a shadow of himself in the Green Point. So it really does look like the rest of the field is running for the minor places.

    Whatever the outcome, this is arguably South Africa’s greatest race in terms of the strength-in-depth of its fields and the quality of its winners over the years and it’s good to see that this year’s field has lived up to that tradition.


    I would have given Soqrat & Hawwaam a chance to do well in the QPlate tomorrow if they had fantastic jockeys like Solomons, Syster, Gumede, Mhbele, R. Kharti or van Rensburg up.

  3. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Oh my William. You must check the BB dates on what you drink and/or smoke. LoL….

    P6 players, If Kasimir, Belgarion, Front and Centre, Hawwaam, Doublemint all win ?

    Must add Eyes Wide Open, 10-1 … what !

    Race 8, add Winnaar and Bling. Last race, I reckon young Solomons can win it on the 12.

    Main race .. Do it Again to beat Hawwaam and Stablemate

  4. Deezo Snyman says:

    Our jockey of colour need to be given a fair chance in our premier races. I think Solomons would romp in on Soqrat considering he claims 4kg. Syster is strong from the front and that would suit Hawwaam. Mbhele on Vardy, R Khathi on DIA and Gumede on RB would complete your top 5. Well Van Rensburg, will ensure a hot pace on One World. So that’s it William. You’ve just given us the quartet. History made, the first four positions in a Grade 1 filled by jockeys of colour.

    1. Editor says:

      Race-7 (Turf) R1 500 000 1600m 16:45
      Weight For Age
      WFA: 3yrs-5kgs 4yrs-0kgs
      ****No Apprentice Allowance***

  5. Wayne says:

    I believe that Hawwam is better than Horse Chestnut , so for me it’s a no conyest. Hawwam by three lengths.

  6. IAN says:

    Hopefully load-shedding won’t delay proceedings again on day 2…..? Where were the back-up/contingency plans on friday? And no attempt to make up the lost time.


    Mr Pienaar, I’m going to try something with Vikram, More Magic & Duc D’Orange in the fifth.

    I’m not 100 % sure yet, but something.

    All of Mrs Bass Robinson three runners are badly drawn, but I’m sure one of them will get through to challenge …maybe two, maybe all three

  8. Rian says:

    Even before the Q Plate I must congrats to Frankie by agreeing that the JHB boys have given us Capetonians a Snot Clap
    Balance of power is shifting although hate saying it out loud
    Well done but only Q Plate to go

  9. Rian says:

    You have witnessed Class

  10. Mike Miles says:


  11. Deezo Snyman says:

    It was an excellent day barring a few disappointments. Front and Center’s and Hawwaam’s below par runs and Andrew Bon’s interviews with some legends of sports. He concocted his interview with Sir Michael Holding on issues in this country and ridicules reminders of Jan Van Riebecks arrival in undiscovered South Africa and bamboozled Sir AP Macoy. He then confuses Kevin Lerena as a heavy weight champion. He is a cruiser weight champion. We need young refreshing blood for big meetings like this and that are well informed. Congratulations to Adam Marcus, a master feat. Vardy is going international.

  12. Pieta says:

    Deezo, for me he is on mute…what does puzzle me is that he has the right to take the reins of the winning horse and conduct a so called interview….overseas they will in some cases interview jockeys while they are returning to the winners circle but then the presenters are on horseback….for me only the connections should touch the horse until the jock has weighed in…..not sure about the rules here….can be a circus…..

  13. Dave says:

    lol, mute as well here for him !


    I’m very proud to say that today, I personally, have had the biggest bet on a horse since I starting gambling on the Big Four when I was 16.

    Thank you Vardy

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