Cape Field Sizes – More Food For Thought

Where are the opportunities beyond a mile?

The issue of small field sizes in Cape Town has been the subject of considerable discussion.

In an era of reduced stakes, it’s easy to blame the prize money on offer, especially when Eastern Cape stakes are currently higher.

Oscar Foulkes writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that having raced a number of 1800m+ fillies in Cape Town, it is his observation that there are very few opportunities beyond 1600m.

He writes:

In fact, not so long ago I saw a race meeting that didn’t have a race further than 1400m.

It is out of frustration for this that we have put our filly En Garde on this month’s BSA online auction.

Her form improved dramatically when she was put over some ground, and she duly won a nice race over 2000m.

She followed up with a very smart second to Follow The Star (travelling to Fairview!), giving her 2kg.

Follow The Star was 2.5 length back in both the Jamaica Handicap and the KZN Fillies Guineas.

If one applies the expected WFA improvement to the form of En Garde’s second-place finish, as well as taking into account the 2kg extra weight she was carrying, we’d have to expect her to show up in black type races at some point in her career.

Oscar Foulkes

The writer, Oscar Foulkes

We hoped this would happen in the East Cape Oaks, but she unfortunately injured herself during the race. Her unplaced run in last month’s World Sports Betting Listed River Jetez Stakes was more a reflection of her rushed preparation than a lack of ability.

The big issue, from our perspective, is that there isn’t a F&M handicap over 1800/2000m scheduled in the Cape until 25 August.

The published programme doesn’t go beyond August, so we have no way of knowing what opportunities await her after that.

All of this is a long way of explaining how an above-average filly will soon be racing in another centre.

It’s not just about one horse, though.

Marina – easy winner of the WSB River Jetez Stakes over 2400m (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

I thought that this year’s World Sports Betting Listed River Jetez Stakes was one of the most competitive we’ve seen for a few years.

Those fillies will all be looking for races. Given that they took part in a 2400m listed race, I can’t imagine that restricting them to 1600m is ideal.

We have many stallions in South Africa that have the ability to sire 2000m+ runners, assuming there are races for them, of course.

I am aware that there are times when longer distance races have had to be cancelled due to insufficient entries.

There must be creative ways of dealing with that. However, two months of no fillies’ handicaps over 1800/2000m is just inconceivable.

PS – A 1950m F&M handicap is included in the newly-added 10 July race meeting, but we obviously couldn’t be aware that this was going to happen.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts