Trainer Dennis Drier and jockey Sean Cormack look to hold all the aces in Saturday’s R 600 000 Gr1 Durban Golden Horseshoe where Gold Medallion winner Captain Of All stands out in an otherwise tricky race.
The classic posers of natural improvement and unrelated formlines makes this race a particularly difficult one to unravel. That is if the proven sorts don’t deliver.
The Gr1 Gold Medallion form looks the natural crutch for punters, although the impressive winner of that prestigious race is not necessarily guaranteed to be as effective at 1400m.
The Riverton Stud bred Captain Of All is a son of Captain Al out of the one time winning Fard mare, Serious Side. The latter won just once over 1000m.
That doesn’t get the juices flowing on the face of it, but Captain Of All won the Gold Medallion in good style over what is seen as a fairly testing 1200m. He showed plenty of speed and ran all the way to the line, despite pulling up distressed. Dennis Drier and Sean Cormack are a lethal duo and they would not have chanced their arms here had they not believed they could pull it off.
Captain Of All’s biggest danger may well lie with Sean Tarry’s Willow Magic, a speedy son of Dubawi who won a cracking race in the SA Nursery at his penultimate start. He beat the crack Cape 2yo Red Ray by 1,75 lengths easing up but then travelled to Scottsville and was beaten a length fair and square by Captain Of All.
Willow Magic has drawn widest of all here and will technically be under pressure from the jump. He does however have two major assets in his favour. That is sizzling gate speed and one of the world’s great jockeys.
The second of the Tarry runners is the Toreador colt Mercado, who won well on debut at Scottsville at the beginning of last month. He beat subsequent winner Owls Do Cry when getting up late there. Hong Kong bound Karis Teetan rides this unkown factor from a nice 3 draw.
Mike Bass sends out an interesting sort in the Gatecrasher Stakes winner Zambezi Torrent. The expensive son of Captain Al found his feet last time when shedding his maiden in fine style in the listed feature. He enjoyed a weight pull of 2kgs with Forest Indigo who ran third and the unplaced Buffalo Bill (6,90 lengths behind).
Zambezi Torrent looks very comfortable over the 1400m trip and is an improving sort who will be ridden by the in form Stuart Randolph from a reasonable draw. As mentioned, the Alec Laird trained Forest Indigo ran on late for third 3,50 lengths behind Zambezi Torrent in the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes. Forest Indigo enjoys a 2kg weight turnaround in his favour with the Bass runner and must come into the reckoning despite an awkward 10 draw.
Full Of Fight
Mike De Kock is represented by the Go Deputy colt Full Combat. The Lammerskraal Stud bred was a facile winner of his maiden at the second time of asking and accounted for a certain Normanz on debut.
Full Combat then ran on well for a 1,75 length third in open company behind Cup Trail winner and July hopeful Astro News in a small field over 1400m at Scottsville his third start. That effort must bring him in as a major contender here.
Word has it that Anton Marcus is likely to only ride in the July on the day. He is engaged as we go to press to ride Charles Laird’s Var colt Normanz from an 11 draw. After winning 2 of his first 3 starts, including a runaway victory in the Godolphin Barb, he was slow away and ran a shocker in the Golden Medallion.
Marcus reported that he felt something amiss with the colt in running there and as a result did not persevere with his ride over the final 200 metres. Normanz was also hanging in from approximately the 500 metre mark.
Normanz has a huge reputation and based on his second and third runs, he is still one of the leading 2yo’s of his year. If he is over his issues, he could threaten the top three.
Settle The Bill
Gavin Van Zyl’s Buffalo Bill ran an eyecatching fourth 4,05 lengths behind King’s Bay at Clairwood on Sunday. While he ran unplaced in the SA Nursery and was outpaced when finishing out of the money in the Gatecrasher Stakes, he is obviously looking for more ground and won’t be stopping at the business end here. He is obviously well held by Zambezi Torrent though.
Vaughan Marshall’s handsome Horse Chestnut colt Chestnut’s Rocket won his maiden in May over the Greyville mile beating Hunting Horn. Chestnut’s Rocket is nicely drawn and if fit (he was withdrawn coughing from his last scheduled engagement a fortnight ago), may be worth quartet consideration.
Alastair Gordon’s Copybook stallion Argonaut’s first career winner when he won his maiden in great style over the Scottsville 1200m at his second outing. There are no winners out of that race.
Copybook is out of a London News mare who won thrice up to 2000m and looks a very scopy sort and is much of an unknown quantity at this point. He will be ridden by top SA rider Glyn Schofield who travels from Australia for July day.
Roy Magner travels to KZN again with the Right Approach colt Hillbrow. This fellow was slow out when finishing stone last in the Gold Medallion but then went home to runa fair second three weeks ago to the promising Heart Of A Lion over the Turffontein 1400m. If he has not had the edge taken off him with all the travelling, he could run a drum from the 2 draw as he goes the trip.
Alyson Wright’s Black Minnaloushe gelding Kochka won well on a long priced Scottsville 1000m debut and then ran over six lengths behind Captain Of All in the Gold Medallion. He was changing legs in running and may have his issues. He is out of an Elliodor mare and could be more comfortable over the extra 200m here.
Heather Adamson’s Tiger Ridge gelding One Cool Cat was a very impressive debut winner over 1000m at Turffontein. He was badly cramped and hampered before running away to beat Gems A Plenty with ease. Subsequent winner Angelicat was 5,75 lengths away in third.
One Cool Cat could be just about anything, or though he is a half brother to Sharp Design and it is worth noting that his dam only won up to 1000m. He also is badly drawn and has a relatively inexperienced apprentice in the saddle.
Garth Puller’s Atso gelding Risky Rosco has drawn the pole barrier position and comes off a debut win over the Clairwood 1200m three weeks ago. He beat the Robbie Hill trained Peter Culture there by a head and now meets him on a kilo worse terms.
Peter Culture could in fact be better than thought at first glance. The St Pieterburg colt has his sixth run here and ran a smart to the very smart Sentinel Stakes winner King’s Bay on Sunday. On a line through King’s Bay(now a four time winner) nine length defeat by Willow Magic in the SA Nursery though, the likes of Peter Culture and Risky Rosco look well held.
Louis Goosen’s Daylami gelding Bah has drawn very wide and was over fourteen lengths behind Captain Of All in the Gold Medallion. He won his maiden well at his penultimate start at the Vaal but needs to up his game dramatically to feature here.
Captain Of All is the one to beat winner and is better drawn than his obvious opponent in Willow Magic. They are both Gr1 winners. Mike De Kock’s Full Combat ran a cracker behind Astro News and must have a shout of Delpech can overcome his 14 draw.