Dean Kannemeyer’s super summer session continued unabated at Kenilworth on 29 October when Depardieu added to the stables’ burgeoning classic aspirations when annexing the R200 000 Gr3 Cape Classic in smashing style. In doing so, the handsome son of Dupont achieved the distinction of being the first equine athlete to lower the heady colours of the previously unbeaten Delago Deluxe.
Talk about being bang on the mark! Kannemeyer was spot-on when suggesting in the preliminaries that he would know exactly where he stands with a horse that he has rated highly since winning on debut in March. He was all smiles afterwards.
The man who has trained seven Guineas winners must in reality be pretty well damn excited about his wide and varied options when looking ahead to the Classics. We know, as he knows, that things can change-but this could be the year for Kannemeyer . Consider this. Lady Christine Laidlaw’s Divine Jet won brilliantly in midweek, while Liancourt Rock is also unbeaten in two starts. Dynasty’s son Taipan may need more time and the Derby trip to show his mettle, but has also won two, while the smart Go Deputy gelding Alula Borealis also has two wins to his credit. It will be interesting to hear first-hand exactly where Depardieu fits into this impressive hierarchy!
Karl Neisius has had a terrific week for the Kannemeyer yard with five winners in two meetings and the veteran was full value for a great ride. He kept on plugging away in balanced and cool style when his mount was labouring and battling to kick into top gear at a crucial stage. Once he found the right motion though it was race over – and for a horse that has run in five feature races in his six outings, he has been an absolute soldier. Veronica Foulkes bred the winner who runs in the Bernard Kantor and Markus Jooste partnership. The Steinhoff man would no doubt preferred to have seen his champion Delago Deluxe maintain his excellent record, but is having a dream run with Brugman keeping his trainers on their toes.
The conditions of the Gr3 Cape Classic did not really suit the achievers in the field, and there will be those that are already reminding us that the Guineas and such races will be run at level weights. But we can make all the excuses in the world for Delago Deluxe. It will not detract from the fact that Marcus gave the former Laird colt every chance – and he was comprehensively and squarely beaten into third place. Gimmethegreenlight uncharacteristically made the pace and stayed on well for second. Like Delago Deluxe, he may have needed the run but let’s not make tepid excuses for beaten horses.
The visiting Anton Marcus was quickly into his stride in his first ride when riding a powerful finish to get the Mike Bass-trained Cherbourg home in the first race. The improved Jamie Lee Jet had shown good pace throughout in the Maiden Plate over 1200m before here being taken on by Dupont Circle. In characteristic Marcus fashion, the champion jockey drove the Bass horse through to win a good race. The winner also marked the start of a good afternoon for Markus Jooste and a busy time in the winner’s enclosure for his racing manager, Derek Brugman. Their stake cheque depository included Caseys Moment in the second race, and a first –third finish in the feature event.
Apprentice Gareth Wright made a rare appearance for the Glen Kotzen yard when engaged to ride the Tiger Ridge filly, Platinum Cat, in the sixth race with stable jockey Sean Cormack unable to do the allotted weight of 52kgs. And the young Wright made the most of the opportunity when switching and producing the chestnut late in the race up the middle. Short of the Kotzens and winning connections, this MR 96 Handicap was not the most memorable race for various reasons.
Firstly, those punters who had utilised Tabgold’s card changes in the morning would not have known that visiting champion rider Anton Marcus was the replacement rider for Grant Behr on the Robinson-trained Tick Tock. And that is a material and substantial difference in theory! When will officialdom ever do something about this breakdown in dissemination by acknowledging that accurate information is vital? With all due respect to Grant Behr, Marcus is worth a few lengths and it is important for punters to be informed. It really is just not good enough – but we have said that before. In the end, the Tick Tock performance was not the most vintage of rides by Marcus who chased the Captain Al mare around her field halfway around the turn to take the battle to the pacemaking Young Ceasour, who had recently relocated from the Herman Brown Jnr yard in KwaZulu-Natal. Marcus was no doubt looking for a bit more speed out front.
Not unexpectedly Tick Tock had little to come in the final stages and Platinum Cat grabbed the opportunity of recording her third win from thirteen starts in Kobus Nieuwoudt’s luminous peppermint crisp silks. It was not a sweet victory for most exotic punters as the filly went off at an unfancied 14-1.
Fareed Anthony is a powerful heavyweight jockey who is as much part of Cape racing as the South Easterly wind that pumps throughout the summer months. The first jockey of colour to pass out of the SA Jockey Academy has endured one of his quietest spells ever and rode his first winner three months into the new season when steering Stunning Tiger to an end-to-end win in the opening leg of the Pick 6. Joey Ramsden’s Admiralofthefleet was all the rage and talk in this mile race, but was never in it with a bleat, as Anthony dictated every inch on the son of Eyeofthetiger. The winner is owned and trained by Glen Puller. The Boland Stud product was having his fourth start and has come to hand very nicely.
So some great racing, smart horses and exciting prospects. Now let’s just get the housekeeping in order.Cape Classic (SAf-G3) (10/29) Kenilworth, South Africa, October 29, R200.000, 1400m, turf, good, 1.26.83 (CR 1.24.00). 1- DEPARDIEU (SAF), 55.5, b c 3, Dupont (GB) – Diva (SAF) by Trigger Finger. Owner Mr M J Jooste and B Kantor; breeder Normandy Stud (SAF); trainer D Kannemeyer; jockey K Neisius (R132.000) 2 – Gimmethegreenlight (AUS), 59.0, br c 3, More Than Ready – Yes She Can Cancan (AUS) by Canny Lad (AUS) 3 – Delago Deluxe (AUS), 60.0, b c 3, Encosta De Lago (AUS) – Succeeding (AUS) by Flying Spur (AUS) Margins: nk, 2, nk Also ran: Great Fox (SAF) 52.0, Solar Captain (SAF) 52.0, Soweto Slew (AUS) 57.0, Shahruhk (SAF) 54.0, Punta Arenas (SAF) 52.0, Jungle Ruler (SAF) 52.0