Cards On The Table

Australian-bred could be the business

Consider Table Bay’s below-par Selangor Cup showing as a rare off-day and suddenly Joey Ramsden’s top colt becomes a good thing for Saturday’s R1 million Gr1 Cape Guineas


Can Table Bay bounce back and redeem himself on Saturday?

They say it doesn’t wash making excuses for beaten horses.

Maybe that holds true nine times out of ten – but there are always exceptions – especially in this game.

Joey Ramsden -master of the Langerman

Joey Ramsden -strong hand in this race

And we are inclined to dig deep to find a reason to give the emphatic Cape Classic winner a chance to redeem his massive reputation.

Table Bay came of age – so every man and his dog thought anyway – with a sensational score in the Cape Classic at end October.

The win had seasoned veterans labelling him the next big thing, with comparisons with some big names of the past from the top yard.

Next time out over 200m further, he fluffed his lines with that forgettable Selangor Cup third behind Gold Standard and Edict Of Nantes.

On Saturday he comes in rated head and shoulders above his fifteen rivals.

Marcus is back aboard and he has a midfield draw – no excuses for a rip-roaring redemption!

If there is anything to beat Table Bay, it could well be the Selangor winner Gold Standard, who taught us not to underestimate PE form last time.


Kotzen and Fourie are a red-hot combination and many will be including Selangor winner Gold Standard

The son of Trippi hails from a hot jockey-trainer combo and was impressive when winning the Gr2 mile. He is likely to be a serious Derby candidate but would not be winning this out of turn.

One of five runners to carry the Mayfair Speculators silks here, Edict Of Nantes was just 0,40 lengths off Gold Standard and 2,25 lengths ahead of Table Bay in the Selangor and was running on strongly at the business end.

He was another well beaten by Table Bay in the Cape Classic and has the worst of the draw to contend with on Saturday.

Mike De Kock - saddles Al Hawraa and Nikki

Mike De Kock – saddles poorly drawn Heavenly Blue

Mike de Kock has whittled down his 2016 Cape Guineas bid to just Heavenly Blue – an exciting son of Snitzel.

While drawn very wide, the grey looks set to relish the long run-in and after two good seconds in the Graham Beck Stakes (behind Doosra) and the Dingaans, will come in fit.

His conqueror in the Dingaans won’t make things easy though.

Summer Cup King Geoff Woodruff’s Singapore Sling is another having his first Cape run and Gavin Lerena takes over the controls from Chase Maujean.

The son of Philanthropist is another likely to enjoy the summer course straight.

KZN hopefuls Gunner and Hack Green are jointly rated nearest to Table Bay.


Dingaans winner Singapore Sling

Both are well drawn and capable, but will need to raise their game in this league after quiet preps in the admittedly sharp, Gr2 Cape Merchants.

Justin Snaith’s pair of Bishop’s Bounty and Zodiac Ruler will prove competitive on best form and it is of some interest that Piere Strydom switches from the former to the latter.

Zodiac Ruler

Gr2 Golden Horseshoe winner Zodiac Ruler

They both ran in the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes where Bishop’s Bounty (with Strydom in the saddle) finished 3,10 lengths ahead of Zodiac Ruler.

Both are highly thought of 3yo’s, and with the better draw in his favour, Bishop’s Bounty may well be the pick – whatever Striker’s thought processes may have been.

William Longsword has always enjoyed something of a reputation and it was no surprise to see him supplemented after clocking up his fourth win from 6 starts last time.

The son of Captain Al has beaten little of note and was well beaten by Gold Standard in the Selangor.

That said, if he can overcome his awful draw, he can challenge for the cheques.

Sean Tarry has enjoyed a good Cape summer so far and he saddles the Visionaire colt Africa Rising, who finally cracks a decent draw.

Sean Tarry - good day at the office

SA champ Sean Tarry – saddles Africa Rising

He ran on steadily for a 3,60 lengths finish behind stablemate Safe Harbour at his Cape debut in the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes and looks set to improve over the extra 200m.

Boom Dynasty colt Craven gives the pair of trainer Brett Crawford and jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe an opportunity to repeat their 2013 success with the overseas bound, Elusive Gold.

The Avontuur-bred Craven has started at short odds at all his four starts and atoned last time for a n inexplicable slump at his third start, with a  smooth win beating Dancer 2,50 lengths in an MR 73 Handicap.

He is well drawn and gets a big chance to show us how good he is.

Local hope Elevated represents a first Cape Guineas runner for Riaan Van Reenen and Carl Burger.

The son of Elusive Fort has run five seconds on the trot – including a well beaten 4 lengths by Table Bay in the Cape Classic.

The Favour Stud-bred gelding has not been favoured by the draw gods, but looks likely to relish the summer course.

Pacific Spirit is the only PE raider in the field and certainly warrants the travel costs outlay based on his good form in his five starts.

Karl Zechner - lodged the objection

Karl Zechner – rides the lone PE raider

While history is not in his favour, he has run on smartly at all of his starts – winning three of them, and showing that he stays the mile when narrowly beaten by Cape raider King Of The Rally at his most recent Fairview start.

The son of Sail From Seattle will be ridden by Karl Zechner and could have any amount of improvement to come at his first start on a left-handed track.

Elusive Path is the second of the Marshall runners.

This son of Pathfork was well beaten by Table Bay in the Cape Classic and looks well held by the Ramsden star.

He then caught the eye with a decent forward showing in the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes when prominent for a long way and beaten only 1,05 lengths by the filly, Safe Harbour.

That may not be Guineas winning form on the face of it, but he is worth including in quartets.

Table Bay’s stablemate A New Dawn finished just a half length behind him in the Selangor Cup and has done little wrong in his four runs to date.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer. We are going to take the Selangor Cup effort as a rare off-day performance from Table Bay.

He won’t have things easy, but the rematch between him and Gold Standard will make for a mouthwatering sub-plot in a race where Heavenly Blue, Singapore Sling and Craven could easily spoil the party.

And it doesn’t end there, with improvement likely from those waiting in the wings.

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