The Cape Winter Series Triple Crown, last worn by Pocket Power, will not be taken out of mothballs in 2012, with the recent first leg Guineas winner Variety Club out of town. Despite the champion’s absence, an entertaining contest is likely at Kenilworth on Sunday where thirteen three year olds turn out for the R184 000 Gr3 Tekkie Town Winter Classic.
The Classic is the 2nd Leg of the Rossgo Winter Series and the afternoon also features The Cat Listed Stormsvlei Mile.
The race looks a straight shootout between the consistent Eric Sands-trained Final Button and the slightly enigmatic and erratic Laurie’s Gold from the Mike Bass yard. Coincidentally both have won their three races from eleven starts. Final Button is, however, held in considerably higher esteem by the handicapper, a guy we don’t always see eye-to-eye with, but who often gets the mathematics right.
Final Button, a not inexpensive R300 000 National Sale graduate, started his career in the manner of a promising sprinter, but appears to have grown in stature and confidence since trying the turn.
He ran a cracker when finishing well at his last outing, when a smart third and 2,55 lengths off Variety Club in the Winter Guineas. This is his first bash at the 1800m, but his dam did win up to 2000m and he is a fellow who has shown a propensity to run on in his races.
Throw in the Neisius factor behind the wheel, and a fit and well Final Button looks set to score a first career feature success.
Bar Of Gold
The name Laurie’s Gold is tantamount to telling a punter his fortune in the nastiest way possible. And we’d love to hear a few of the names his dedicated part-owner and Cape racing legend Marsh Shirtliff has called him under his post-race breath in the recent past!
This obviously highly thought of Silvano colt cost R100 000 more than Final Button out of the same sales ring, and has been a beaten favourite more times than most of us would care to remember. That said, he has redeemed his reputation in some measure with two good wins at seemingly generous prices at his last two starts. His last victory, in an MR79 Handicap over 1400m, was achieved after he jumped awkwardly and yet still found the firepower to win going away.
While he cannot beat Final Button on pure paper and past form, Bernard Fayd’herbe partners him again and from his good draw, he could give the Sands horse the most to worry about. Especially if he keeps up this Jekyll and Hyde level of improvement.
Joey Ramsden despatches another Silvano(one of three in the race) in the gelded Silver Haven, who has won two of his eleven starts and who often, and deflatingly, bumped the best of his year in a tough campaign trail of feature races.
Silver Haven recorded his second win soon enough after his first, and sufficiently impressively, to suggest that he had more to come. That is probably the reason his trainer gave him the opportunity to take his chances of earning good money, and while he finished within a small stone’s throw of the likes of Variety Club and Jackson in the Cape summer Guineas and Derby, he is probably realistically a few lengths off that vintage. But ignore the Ramsden runners at your peril!
Hill Fifty Four jumps from pole position and this son of Captain Al just seems to get better with every run. He won his maiden in January and has won his subsequent two starts, showing great fight and character on both occasions. He came back to beat the highly-rated year older M’Lords Throat in a 1700m Graduation Plate last time. Hill Fifty Four was giving his elder a half kilo. He will be looking to make it four in a row here and hails from a powerfully hot stable.
Mystic Jet is the second of the Marshall runners and this smashingly bred R1,2 million purchase put it all together at his third start to win going away. He made his debut over a mile in February and has been backed at every start. He obviously has fantastic potential and while way out on the handicap and lacking the battle scars, he could improve further and run into the money.
Winter Dynasty was an impressive maiden winner at his third start and then put in two fair efforts in handicap company, the last time running on well over 1400m to finish within 3 lengths of the promising Lord Paramount. He could be on the up and based on his parentage, he may enjoy the more testing trip.
Justin Snaith’s Why Worry is a battling two-time winner who commutes between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town these days. He ran a fair 3,50 length fourth to Tribal Dance in the East Cape Derby two weeks ago and if that effort has not taken the edge off him, he has the potential to run a place here.
The balance of the field do not inspire confidence and look to be making up the numbers.
Stone Pine may be better than officially rated and was good enough to win two on the trot at the end of winter last year. He is crying out for ground and rain, and could be the surprise package.
Laurie’s Gold stablemate Drum Tattoo has lost form and has not earned a blue cent in four runs this year.
Darryl Hodgson sends out the coupling of Putney Flyer and Atamasco. They are both regular earners but only one-time winners and should battle at level weights against their more highly-rated contemporaries.
Despite the hype and flashes of ability, Riaan Van Reenen’s Barossa Valley has also only ever managed one win and he looks outclassed.
Greg Ennion’s Super Seven falls into the same category and his woes are compounded by a poor draw.
We believe Final Button is good enough to get the better of Laurie’s Gold, with Silver Haven and Hill Fifty Four chasing the scraps. It should be a thrilling race.
If the winter sunshine breaks through, a lovely Sunday afternoon’s entertainment is on the cards..
Supervised under-cover kiddies entertainment is being laid on in addition to an Indoor Craft/Flea Market and an on-course win-if-you-lose draw after the 3rd & 5th races. And then if you happen to press the right ‘buttons’ and find the winners, a Happy Two Hours of half- price drinks are on offer from 17h00 to 19h00,with complimentary snacks and Karaoke.