Decisions, Decisions – But Charles Likely To Line Up In WSB Guineas

What a great start to the big season!

Three months of top-class feature racing kicks off at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday 6 May as Champion Season opens with the traditional Guineas-day trio of the Gr2 World Sport Betting Guineas, Gr2 World Sports Betting Fillies Guineas and the Gr2 Independent on Saturday Drill Hall Stakes.

All three races have attracted top class entries.

The Gr2 Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes, run over 1400m, attracted 32 high-class entries, headed by Gr1 L’ Ormarins King’s Plate winner Al Muthana.

Bernard Fayd’hereb and Ricky Maingard are all smiles after Al Muthana’s L’Ormarins King’s Plate victory (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Ricky Maingard trains the country’s highest rated horse and no doubt he has the Gr1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge at the top of his agenda, the race that he won last year. However, Al Muthana has drawn a wide at gate 23.

R500 000 1400m (Turf)
DRILL HALL STAKES (Grade 2)
24 After The Rain Gareth van Zyl 105
23 Al Muthana (AUS) Ricky Maingard 133
6 Astrix J A Janse van Vuuren 122
2 At My Command Brett Crawford 114
26 Battle Force Peter Muscutt 111
20 Bingwa J A Janse van Vuuren 123
12 Captain Fontane Garth Puller 106
5 Charles Dickens Candice Bass-Robinson 132
1 Cosmic Highway Dean Kannemeyer 113
22 Cousin Casey Glen Kotzen 122
29 Dave The King Mike de Kock 111
7 Desert Miracle Mike de Kock 124
32 Forever Mine Mike de Kock 109
27 Gimme A Prince Dean Kannemeyer 123
17 Good Traveller Michael Roberts 118
28 Humdinger Mike de Kock 108
18 Marina Candice Bass-Robinson 117
14 Prophet Corne Spies 108
15 Pyromaniac Sean Tarry 106
31 Russian Rock Dean Kannemeyer 108
19 Safe Passage Mike de Kock 124
13 Safe Return Gavin Smith 101
4 Seeking The Stars Vaughan Marshall 124
9 Shoemaker Mike de Kock 114
10 Silvano’s Dasher Brett Crawford 110
25 Silver Operator Vaughan Marshall 117
16 Smorgasbord J A Janse van Vuuren 112
11 Supreme Warrior M G Azzie/A A Azzie 119
8 Surjay Brett Crawford 117
21 Trip Of Fortune Candice Bass-Robinson 125
30 Under Your Spell Sean Tarry 114
3 William Robertson Corne Spies 125
(32)

In contrast, the country’s most talked-about horse Charles Dickens, rated one-pound less than Al Muthana and beaten a head by his rival in the L’ Ormarins King’s Plate, has drawn 5.

Champion Charles Dickens – could be a cracking start (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Candice Bass-Robinson has also entered him for the Gr2 WSB Guineas and a better draw in the Drill Hall could sway her thinking but it would be an exciting re-match. Candice Bass-Robinson told the Sporting Post that her star would ‘more than likely’ run in the Guineas.

 R500 000 1600m (Turf)
GUINEAS (Grade 2)
4 Anfields Rocket Grant Maroun 120
11 At My Command Brett Crawford 114
10 Boundless Bash Wendy Whitehead 96
0 Captain Casey Tony Rivalland 103
12 Charles Dickens Candice Bass-Robinson 132
7 Cousin Casey Glen Kotzen 122
1 Dave The King Mike de Kock 111
3 East Coast Mike de Kock 112
5 Electric Gold Tony Peter 104
13 Imposing Michael Roberts 100
14 Melech Roy Magner 97
9 Prophet Corne Spies 108
2 See It Again Michael Roberts 124
8 Shoemaker Mike de Kock 114
6 Wiccan Warrior Gareth van Zyl 98
(15)

In contrast, Cousin Casey, last season’s Champion two-year-old, drew wide at 22 for the Drill Hall and 7 in the Guineas which will have Glen Kotzen pondering his options.

Charles Dickens heads the 14 nominations for the WSB Guineas and, should they stand their ground, he will be up against Gr1 Splashout Cape Derby winner See It Again, Cousin Casey and recent Gr1 SA Classic winner Anfields Rocket.

The latter three are relatively well drawn at 2,7 and 4 respectively. Charles Dickens has pulled the 12 marble but considering his style of racing, a wide draw should not be of too much concern.

Golden Hostess – promising 3yo (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Bass-Robinson’s filly Golden Hostess, winner of The Magnolia at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth is the highest rated nomination in the WSB Fillies Guineas but fared even worse than her stable companion as she drew 13 out of the 14 nominations.

R450 000 1600m (Turf)
FILLIES GUINEAS (Grade 2)
3 Acacia’s Blossom Louis Goosen 93
10 Captain Peg Stuart Pettigrew 107
13 Golden Hostess Candice Bass-Robinson 119
12 Hold My Hand Glen Kotzen 104
8 Lady Of Power M G Azzie/A A Azzie 109
9 Let It Snow Wendy Whitehead 90
4 Maharanee J A Janse van Vuuren 112
1 Miss Cool Candice Dawson 103
7 Mrs Browning Sean Tarry 94
2 Peach Daiquiri Alec Laird 98
6 Saartjie Andre Nel 105
11 Shantastic Dean Kannemeyer 101
14 Tipsy Tarragon Tony Peter 101
5 Winter Greeting Sean Tarry 99
(14)

Maharanee, now with Johan Janse van Vuuren, has a plum draw of 4 and Mike and Adam Azzie’s entry Lady Of Power, winner of the Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas and third in the Gr2 SA Oaks pulled gate 8.

  • Supplementary entries are due by 11h00 on Friday 28 April
  • Declarations are due by 11h00 on Tuesday 2 May.

Media release by Gold Circle -additional reporting by SP Editorial staff.

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