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Dean Kannemeyer bullish about Capetown Noir's prospects for Season Of Champions

Capetown Noir

Capetown Noir. Will stay Met trip

Trainer Dean Kannemeyer has confirmed that Capetown Noir will more than likely follow the stepping stones of the Green Point Stakes and the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, into the 2014 J&B Met. He said that the 4yo son of the recently deceased champion sire Western Winter had his head in the manger on Sunday morning and looked like he had not even gone racing on Saturday.

Capetown Noir had slammed his opposition with a facile victory in the Gr3 Matchem Stakes at Durbanville just 24 hours earlier.

The Milnerton conditioner said that the smashing colt had a star temperament,was as sound as a bell and an absolute pleasure to train. Kannemeyer was full of praise for the educated eye of Form Bloodstock’s Jehan Malherbe, who had selected Cape Town Noir with him.

The Kannemeyers have won the Cape Guineas a remarkable eight times, but Dean would not be drawn on comparisons with Capetown Noir and his past champions like Dynasty.

“Dynasty was a machine. They all have their own unique personality and strengths, and I don’t see the point of speculating about relative merits. I have been fortunate to train some top class horses and, as I have said before, we are ultimately here to win the Group races and the Classics. I have a medium sized string and have to box smartly,” he said.

Dean Kannemeyer. Big season in prospect  (Hamish Niven Photography)

Dean Kannemeyer. Big season in prospect

When asked how confident he had been in the run up to Saturday’s feature, Kannemeyer said that an odds on shot still had to win, and that he had learnt never to take anything for granted.

He said he had respect for the two 3yo’s in Mike Bass’ Zambezi Torrent and Glen Kotzen’s Counts Rocket, but that he was not overly concerned about the rest of the field.

“We had the measure of the 4yo’s, so I wasn’t worried about them. They rate Zambezi Torrent and he looks like a smart horse in the making. We gave him some 6,5kgs and he ran on well enough. I frankly wouldn’t have cried had Capetown Noir gotten beaten, but he gave me a pleasant surprise with the way he won so emphatically. Class horses somehow have a knack of overcoming adversity. But I believe the only thing that could have beaten him was a possible lack of fitness. I probably had him 70 percent ready as we have some time yet before we go into the Queen’s Plate.”

Capetown Noir put the frustrating 2013 KZN Champions Season behind him in fine style, and answered a question or two for his supporters, who had seen him go down narrowly at Greyville in the KRA Guineas and Daily News 2000.

“It may well be that he just prefers the left handed tracks down in the Cape. I think he was also  run off his feet down the Greyville straight. Karl Neisius has said that Capetown Noir enjoys being given a furlong or so to balance himself out, before he kicks in with that dazzling final effort. There is not a horse in the country who would have beaten him on Guineas day down here.”

When questioned on what Capetown Noir’s optimum trip was, Kannemeyer said that the school of informed opinion varied, and that he had listened to various theories.

“Let’s face it, he was damn unlucky when impeded by Unencumbered at a crucial time in the Selangor Cup. That grey horse got away from him, but our boy was catching him with every stride. Then we had to listen to various angles on the merits of the Investec Cape Derby victory. He was not exactly gulping for air in the final stages of the Daily News and was running on in the July in those conditions. I will tell you straight that he will get the 2000m of the Met with ease. Of that I have absolutely no doubt,” he said.

Of his other runner in the Matchem on Saturday, Hot Ticket, Kannemeyer said that we shouldn’t be surprised to see him in the J&B Met lineup also.

Ice Machine. Good winner on Saturday after moving to Kannemeyer yard

Ice Machine. Good winner on Saturday after moving to Kannemeyer yard

“He is typical of the Silvano progeny and has matured beautifully as a 4yo. The penny only dropped once he got to KZN and he was unlucky to get beaten by Silvano’s Jet in the KZN Derby. That one went on to a second place behind Jackson in the Champion’s Cup. Jackson is one of our top older horses, and is a superb athlete. So the form is strong. Grant Behr got off Hot Ticket on Saturday and said that he had finished his race off very well. That was probably 400m short for him. So I am thrilled with a sixth placed finish right on top of the placed horses,” he said.

Dean also trained the Pinnacle Stakes winner, Ice Machine, on Saturday.

“He is down here with me for the season. I have known his staunch owners Roy and Gladys Meaker since I was a teenager and am thrilled to have been given a chance with this talented Silvano gelding. The Meakers want to enjoy him and see him race in the Cape Summer Season. Karl rode a beautiful race. There are fewer better judges of pace around! Ice Machine has had his problems and Garth Puller did a great job to win five races with him. While I believe that I had him in the right race there, the win still augurs well for the season ahead. Run For It ran second in the July and we beat him here by 3,55 lengths at level weights,” he said.

Dean has had some impressive early winners recently, including Sir Duke, Power King, Speed Rocket and Seven Fountains.

“I am not going to go hyping them up. Our philosophy has always been to let them do their talking from the winner’s enclosure. My focus is to bring them on slowly and place them properly. If they are good enough, they will qualify themselves for the classics,” he said.


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