It’s Time To Deliver

Sir David Baird could be De Kock's classic value

Second-guessing the 3yo classic standouts has been an exercise that has tamed lions this season.  Today could be the crossroads on that front. The running of the R1 million Gr1 Cape Guineas could finally settle a few debates and announce the arrival of a future star.

With Dingaans winner Monk’s Hood and Gr1 victor Sand And Sea giving Saturday’s race a miss, the nationally representative line-up of 3yo males is a powerful one and brings together all the power players on the Kenilworth summer course.

The withdrawal this week of Glen Kotzen’s Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes winner Eyes Wide Open is a blow to home town aspirations of a victory.

Wonderwall takes Bold Respect all the way to the wire in the Kuda Sprint

Brett Crawford has a strong trio headed by Bold Respect, who appeared to be a trifle unlucky when beaten in the shadow of the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes post. The son of Bold Silvano gave Wonderwall 2kgs and a beating in the Kuda Sprint and he is set for a massive bid on the silverware – with the mile looking well within his scope.

Top O’Noth – looks very decent

Vaughan Marshall and MJ Byleveld team up with Cape Classic winner Tap O’Noth, who bids to give the Milnerton yard a second consecutive winner in this feature. The son of Captain Al has dominated the betting boards, despite his wide gate, and should easily adapt to his first bid at the mile.

Sean Tarry’s Wonderwall heads the champion attack trio and is the highest rated runner in the race. The son of Querari has not quite reached his Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge level of performance and made no show in the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes last time. He has a wide draw against him, but the master Piere Strydom is in the irons and he is weighted to win this.

Pack Leader – the Kotzen hope

Pack Leader has pulled a wide draw and will need to beat that hurdle. The son of Philanthropist stayed on well behind Miss Katalin in the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes and could provide the quartet kicker if he gets a bit of luck in running. He was reported to be making respiratory noises last time and that will hopefully be remedied.

Brett Crawford’s Undercover Agent chased Tap O’Noth home in the Cape Classic at his penultimate start but was a touch one-paced when beaten out of the placings, but under two lengths off Rocket Countdown,  in the Selangor. That was his first try at a mile and it is possible that the son of Captain Al did not stay the trip. He also has a wide draw to overcome here.

Last season’s Gr2 Golden Horseshoe winner Purple Diamond has shown nothing since winning that Gr2 in a tight finish and his two starts as a 3yo have delivered nothing. The son of Var has the advantage of the pole position draw but will need to improve a good few lengths to have a say in the finish.

The Australian-bred Sir Frenchie has not won a race in ten months but has caught the eye at his last two starts with sustained finishing efforts.  He ran on powerfully in the Cape Classic and the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes and the son of Choisir should relish the extra 200m – he could prove some value at double figures.

Captain And Master has failed to live up to his boom reputation and was beaten  almost 3 lengths by Rocket Countdown in the Selangor Cup. Both of his mile attempts have proven futile and it is possible that he may be better over shorter.

Chase Liebenberg Photography

Rocket Countdown wins the Selangor Cup

Selangor Cup shock winner Rocket Countdown gets a chance to prove that his giantkilling act in the unofficial Guineas trial was no fluke. He surprised all and sundry there with a terrific late burst and that form will be firmly under the spotlight today.

The R1,1 million purchase White River caught the eye when flying late to get within a half length of Rocket Countdown in the Selangor. Up to that point he had won 2 of his 3 starts and had given no indication of classic pretentions. He must be considered if holding that form.

Cot Campbell  stayed on without quickening when beaten 3,25 lengths in the Cape Classic. He received 2kgs from Tap O’Noth there and looks held again by the Marshall runner.

His stablemate Do It Again had no luck when baulked late and flying up for third and under a length behind Rocket Countdown in the Selangor Cup. On best form he must have a chance – but looks a likely Derby candidate.

Sir David Baird – an exciting prospect

Listed KZN Guineas Trial winner Sir David Baird is the first of the Mike de Kock duo.  Gelding has made the world of difference to the son of Dynasty who ground his – admittedly modest – opposition into the turf in his last end-to-end feature win and may well be much better than he currently looks on paper.  He could be a dangerous proposition from his 5 draw if making further improvement and allowed to dictate matters out front.

Like A Panther won two races on the trot before showing pace but fading out in the Dingaans.  The son of Captain Al is highly regarded but has his first run on a left-handed  track and is something of an unknown quantity at his Cape opener.

The real strength of the De Kock attack is quite unexposed but the hometown boys could hold the adavantage. Tap O’Noth looks something decent and if he manages to get lucky from his draw he is set to fight this out with Eyes Wide Open and Do It Again.

The race doesn’t end there – all of Wonderwall, Bold Respect and Rocket Countdown look serious possibilities.

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