Today: Super Saturday Stars

New season launches with a flourish - Pick 6 C/Over 1.5 Million. Race 4 @ 14h05. Estimated Pool R 6 Million

Hot Ticket

Disco Al and Hot Ticket slug it out in the Track & Ball Derby – they clash again on Saturday

The KZN rain gods may well have thrown horseracing a curved ball, with Super Saturday now kickstarting our brand new season – but life goes on!

The R1,25 million Gr1 Gold Cup sees the top yards of Dean Kannemeyer, Joey Ramsden and Mike De Kock bumping heads with seven of the sixteen runners in South Africa’s premier test of stamina.

Dean Kannemeyer - saddles Lord Marshal

Dean Kannemeyer is looking for a July – Gold Cup double

While Dean Kannemeyer and Stuart Randolph will be out to achieve a rare Gr1 double after their July day celebrations, surely no horse has had a better prep than Mike De Kock’s 2014 Gold Cup runner-up Wild One?

The lightly raced Mogok gelding started his career with Jeff Freedman, had a stint with Ormond Ferraris and has flourished with Mike De Kock.

Wild One has only had two outings since last year’s Gold Cup and should be spot on when they line up on Saturday.

He came from near last to finish second to Punta Arenas in the Cup Trial over 1800m and followed up with a great second behind Besanova in the KZN Breeders’ Million Mile.

That was short of his best and this 3200m test will be much more his game.

His stablemate Kingston Mines has also drawn nicely and will be looking to build on his dead heat third in the Track & Ball Derby last time out. In a blanket finish he ran under a half length off Disco Al  and Hot Ticket.

Kingston Mines enjoys a nice pull at the weights  and comes into the picture on his best form as a proven and versatile stayer.

Solid Sort


The vastly improved Solid Speed

Solid Speed has come down in the weights and fitness is not a question

The vastly improved Solid Speed suffered his first defeat in four starts at Greyville when going down less than a length to Heart Of A Lion in the SABC Gold Vase over 3000m on July day carrying top weight of 60kg.

He drops 7kgs in the weights and from a good draw ticks all the right boxes for a major bid to give his trainer a third Gold Cup victory.

His stablemate Hot Ticket is one of the fittest horses in town.

The son of Silvano found traffic in the recent Durban July but will much prefer this longer trip.

He finished fourth under top weight in last year’s Gold Cup but appears to be a sounder stronger stayer this year.

Ramsden Duo

Joey Ramsden

Joey Ramsden – coupling looks decent

Joey Ramsden is a top trainer of stayers and he sends out Disco Al and Coltrane.

Anton Marcus rode Disco Al who got up in the literal final stride to win  the Track & Ball Derby over 2400m at Scottsville with other Gold Cup entries Savage Wind and Kingston Mines less than a length behind.  The dual Algoa Cup winner may not find every inch of the 3200m, but is a horse who relaxes and can turn it on late.

Word from the yard is that Coltrane has improved again in his home work after a disappointing start to Champions Season. He won the 3000n Chairmans Cup and prior to that was just run out of it by Kingston Mines in the J&B Urban Honey Stakes  on Met day.

Piere Strydom stays with Coltrane and he cannot be written off.

Fairer Sex

Ash Cloud wins Gold Circle Oaks

Ash Cloud has her last run – and handicapper has been a bit harsh

The fairer sex have not seen the Gold Cup winner’s enclosure in fifteen seasons. So should we take them seriously?

The trio representing this sector are all capable gallopers in their own right but would need to be at their very best to feature.

Recent Gold Circle Oaks winner Ash Cloud has found form at the right time and was only 2,25 lengths behind Kingston Mines in the Urban Honey Stayers on Met day. She is the third highest weighted runner in this race (carrying 5kgs more than last year) and won’t have things her own way against the proven male stayers.

Vino Vertas

Vino Veritas – tough sort

Vino Veritas is a tough little galloper and ran just over a half length second behind Ash Cloud in the Oaks and is only a half kilo worse off – so there won’t be too much to choose between the two .

She has not been exposed against the males, but is drawn against the paint and has probably earned this Gr1 shot.

Wild Ash ran an eyecatching second in the Gold Vase but Solid Speed, who was a neck behind her is 3kgs better off and may hold her on that run.

Gone Baby Gone has been threatening to do something in a while but has not won in fifteen months.

He ran just 3 lengths behind Solid Speed  in the Gold  Vase but has a 2kg disadvantage .

J”S Outsider was beaten 1,75 lengths by Solid Speed in the Gold Vase and now faces the Kannemeyer runner on 2kgs worse terms. He also jumps from a bad draw – but that should not be a major factor as he likes to be ridden from way off the pace.

He won the Gr2 Gold Bowl at 40-1 over the 3200m up in Gauteng and now races out of the top class Drier yard at Summerveld – who have won this race previously.

Wind Of Change

Savage Winds scores runaway win in Hennenman Memorial Plate (JC Photos)

Savage Wind is better off at the weights after a good run in the Track & Ball Derby

Joey Soma’s Savage Wind finished a hair breadth behind Disco Al and Hot Ticket in the Track & Ball Derby at his last start,

He is all of 7kgs better off with Hot Ticket and 3,5kgs better off with Disco Al – which brings him into the picture if he carries the form over 800m. That said, he definitely stays the trip, but has a wide draw to overcome – and the psychological block of having not won a race in over a year.

The third of the Dean Kannemeyer trio is the 4yo Balance Sheet, who ran on steadily for fourth behind Ultimate Dollar in the tabGold 2200 on July day.

The son of Silvano has won 3 from 10 and tries the 3200m for the first time – and the biggest test of his career to date – with a bit of help as he is weighted as a 3yo.

He carries a galloping 52kgs, but would be a surprise winner.

Gold Member

Gold Onyx lead-in sville 1 may 2012

Gold Onyx – been around forever and is always a quartet lurker

Now 8 years of age, the topweighted Gold Onyx is one of the colourful equine characters of the local racing scene.

The winner of an 1100m Gr3 sprint on debut, he has his third try at the Gold Cup at his 51st start and ran under a length third behind Wavin’ Flag last year.

After a lovely third placing in the J&B Met, he was well back in the Cup Trial and July, and looks to have plenty to do from the widest draw.

A winner of the 2014 Listed Aquanaut Handicap, Storm Warning ran unplaced at his only previous Greyville start – that was 8,30 lengths behind Hot Ticket in the Gr2 Gold Vase last term.

He stays well, but a wide draw and his lack of proven clout at this level deters any serious sentiment.

Kolkata comes into the race after the scratching of Heart Of A Lion.

After catching the eye as a companion at the Vodacom Durban July gallops, he ran a fair sixth in the Gr2  Gold Vase, when sixth and 5,90 lengths off the winner.

He still has 5 lengths though to make up on Solid Speed and meets the Kannemeyer charge on 2kgs worse terms.


Wild One - this looks a bit short but a useful Gold Cup prep

Wild One – perfect Gold Cup prep

Favourites do not have a commendable record in this race. There are just so many factors at play and it is a given that any horse that stays well, has a chance.

Throw in the Greyville track’s recent history of traffic issues… and there could be plenty of debate and post-mortems.

On form, it is very difficult to fault Wild One and Solid Speed – and in an ideal world they would be the exacta selection. But Disco Al and Hot Ticket are both fit and ready to do battle.

And there are a few others that will be ready to pounce if the stars fluff their lines.

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