A Golden Goodbye

Bass' final bid for a Gr1

Champions Season_520-183

The 2016 SA Champions Season fairytale reaches a heady climax at Greyville today when Cape trainer Mike Bass saddles the Silvano gelding Marinaresco in the R1 million Gr1 Champions Cup. It will be the legendary conditioner’s final bid for a Gr1 winner after a forty year career as he hands the keys to his Milnerton yard over to his daughter a few hours later.


Mike and Candice – ring out the old, ring in the new

Bass has trained 32 Gr1 winners, who between them they have won 50 Gr1’s, including three Julys and five Mets.

That’s a great record in anybody’s book and it is difficult not siding with Marinaresco, even if the head suggests a measure caution with luck needed from his 14 draw.

Marinaresco Winter Guineas

Marinaresco – ran on well in the July

“Marinaresco is doing well but we are going to have to hope for a bit of luck because we again have a bad draw. We will have to again drop him out because he doesn’t race up with the pace,” said Bass assistant Candice Robinson this week.

A superb late chasing runner-up in the Vodacom Durban July, Grant van Niekerk’s mount is in the red to score for Mike Bass, whose most recent victories in this race have been with African Appeal in 2007 and Africana Lion four years earlier.

Favourites have won the last three runnings of this conditions race, with 3yo’s et 56,5kgs and 4yo’s and older a base 58kgs. Winners of a Gr1 race geta  2kg penalty, while Gr2 winners get 1kg.

Grant van Niekerk

Grant Van Niekerk – has the honour of riding Marinaresco

Coming from the clouds when runner-up to The Conglomerate in the July , the Tekkie Town Winter Guineas and Winter Classic winner is much better off at the weights in this event and is likely to be well fancied.

Marinaresco was lumbered with an eight-pound penalty for his July effort but once again meets his fellow three-year-olds that ran in the July at level weights and all things being equal he should beat them again.

Snaith Duo

Justin Snaith will be looking to end the season on a high and he saddles a pair of quality runners.

The classy 3yo Trippi colt Baritone ran a cracker on July day in the Listed Daisy Business Solutions Handicap over 1600m on the turf. He did not have the clearest of passages, but was doing excellent work late for a 5,15 length fifth.

He ran off a merit rating of 104, meaning he carried 60kg and was giving weight to most of the field including older horses.

Top Effort

Snaith said, “It was a brilliant run, he had it all to do at the weights. He is a dark horse as he is not far off my best three-year-olds. He just cannot crack a good draw, but still always runs creditable races.”

This progressive type looks ready to win a big one and the tongue tie obviously helped last time after he had been reported to have “choked up in the latter stages” in the Canon Guineas, when moving up well and not finding the necessary extra. Anthony Delpech staying aboard is another bonus, but the wide draw of twelve makes it tough.

It is written chrixtmas

It Is Written – now with Snaith and Piere Strydom rides

It Is Written has transferred to Snaith from Dean Kannemeyer and he may have his fancies from a good draw with Piere Strydom up. He is 3,5kg under sufferance on official merit ratings with the best weighted horse, Punta Arenas, but the distance looks ideal.

Snaith said, “He is doing well, although he’s not the easiest horse and has had a long season. But the Champions Cup is a bit weaker than normal besides Marinaresco and we are taking our chances.”

Tyrone Zackey’s Judicial has always been an above average sort and is in prime form, having won two of his last three races.

The son of Miesque’s Approval lacks a length or two, but given the likely soft underfoot conditions, he warrants taking his chances.


Exit Here Cup Trial

Exit Here is drawn wide

Cup Trial hero Exit Here has drawn a bit wide but is a good front running sort who is capable of following up on his last victory.

Stablemate Ice Machine has drawn very wide and cannot be fancied over the 1800m.

Million Mile winner No Worries is in hot form and looks ready to make a big bid to score his first Gr1 success.

He is a horse that hardly knows how to run a poor race.

His stablemate Rocketball was well beaten in the July, but on his Daily News 2000 and SA Derby runs has shown himself to be a decent 3yo.

Gavin Lerena rides the son of Judpot from a good draw and he will enjoy a stiff test off a good pace.

Dean Kannemeyer’s Mambo Mime has been withdrawn.

Saratoga Dancer wins KZN Winter Challenge

Local hope Saratoga Dancer ran a cracker in the July

Saratoga Dancer was the surprise package in more ways than one in this year’s July. Considered in some quarters to be lucky to get in, he then ran a sparkling race running on stoutly for fith and only 2,40 lengths off.

A repeat of that kind of effort from his good draw, suggests he be included.

The 7yo Punta Arenas tends to come well at this time of the year and he came right back to best with a good win in the Delta Airlines 2200 (aka the Consolation July).

The son of Silvano will relish the kind underfoot conditions and could be worthy of inclusion for the back end of quartets – particularly in testing conditions.

St Tropez_d150419_web

Anton Marcus rides St Tropez

Joey Ramsden’s St Tropez had no luck in the July when stable elect but failing to kick on and running 14 lengths downfield.

His penultimate jump when staying on well in the Betting World 1900 was much better, but even with Anton Marcus up, he cannot be fancied with confidence.

Bezanova has not won a race in over a year but stayed on behind No Worries in the KZN Million Mile last time out. He always seems to have a few lengths to make up at the level.

Gold Onyx - arrives in Cape Town as a 7yo

Gold Onyx – not getting any younger

Sean Tarry’s 8yo Gold Onyx failed to make the cut in the Gold Cup and he looks past his best to assert in this Gr1 company.

Stablemate Malak El Moolook is winless in 18 months and while he has not run far off recently, he should battle against the top four.

This is a fascinating contest and a win for Marinaresco would make it a memorable end to the season.

The son of Silvano has plenty in his favour and he is the selection to beat Mambo Mime and Baritone.

Watch the underfoot conditions closely and include Punta Arenas and It Is Written in bigger perms.


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