Charles Dickens – Ready To Rewrite A Classic

This chestnut has the wow factor

While the Cape Guineas is often a North versus South classic acid test, the 2022 renewal of the R2 million Hollywoodbets-sponsored contest is probably not going to be the traditional ‘tale of two cities’ after local star Charles Dickens blew us all away in a highly-paid public grass gallop at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Sunday.

Taking on five accomplished older campaigners and giving 9 kgs to a promising, albeit less experienced peer, the handsome chestnut never came off the bit as he cruised home to win the R130 000 Allowance Plate over 1400m with contemptuous ease under regular pilot Aldo Domeyer. He is now undefeated in five starts and has been described by his experienced rider as ‘a league above’, with respect to the opposition.

Renowned racing expert Charles Faull labelled the win ‘Sea Cottage stuff’!

Aldo Domeyer smiles and poses as Charles Dickens charges home (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

With the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas just three weeks away, the Drakenstein bred and owned son of Trippi looks to have enjoyed a flawless prep as he gears up to take on local hotshot Cousin Casey, the sponsors own Graham Beck Stakes winner Anfields Rocket, and whatever Mike de Kock decides to travel with.

The Gr1-winning Cousin Casey won the Gr2 Cape Punters Cup in impressive fashion a week ago, and his prep has been a lot more low-key than the media friendly hype around the rise of Charles Dickens.

Anfields Rocket beat Saturday’s Jonsson Workwear Dingaans runner-up Shoemaker in the Graham Beck Stakes at his last start and then skipped the Dingaans as he drew badly. Trainer Grant Maroun will travel him for the big race on 17 December.

Watch Charles Dickens replay here:

Mike de Kock’s Union Square won the Dingaans on Saturday in fine style, with things going his way and stablemate Shoemaker again having a few legitimate excuses.

Sean Tarry has 2yo Gr1 winner Thunderstruck, who improved on his Graham Beck Stakes downfield run by finishing fifth behind Union Square after things didn’t really go his way on Saturday.

Nathan Kotzen’s Pathfork gelding Royal Victory was runner-up behind Cousin Casey in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes last season  and has been on the fringes in both the Graham Beck Stakes and Saturday’s Dingaans, where he stayed on for fourth behind the De Kock trio.

With homeground advantage and Candice Bass-Robinson and Aldo Domeyer looking for their respective personal first Cape Guineas success, it’s difficult not to give Charles Dickens the thumbs-up.

  • Entries for the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas close at 11h00 on Monday 5 December.
  • Declarations are due by 11h00 on Monday 12 December.

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