Mike De Kock’s champion 3yo Majmu has her first run against the boys when she steps into the major league of the R2 million Gr1 President’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein on Saturday. While she is handicapped to win, she also has to handle a first tilt at 2000m – against some seasoned big-hitters.
The beautiful grey daughter of Redoute’s Choice goes for a hat-trick of Gr1 wins after making a winning comeback following a four month break from action in the aftermath of her successful Cape campaign which took in the prestigious Avontuur Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas.
Returning in the Gr1 Laurie Jaffee Empress Club Stakes, she streaked to victory putting 3 lemgths between herself and the perennial well performed stakes race bridesmaid Trophy Wife.
With the Vodacom Durban July her likely last local start in this country, Mike De Kock will be expecting Majmu to win this.
Barring a second run after a rest swerve, it is difficult making a case for Majmu to get beaten – although there are a few serious males who will be ready to knock her off her throne.
The form of the Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and the Gr2 Colorado King Stakes runs deepest amongst eight of the ten remaining runners.
Hall Of Fame
First amongst these is that superb Australian bred entire Wylie Hall, who also made a winning comeback when a fluent winner of the Gr3 Colorado King Stakes at Turffontein three weeks ago.
Like Majmu, by Redoute’s Choice, Wylie Hall looks set for a big KZN Champions Season and revenge in the Vodacom Durban July after last year’s debacle.
He ran a decent enough fourth to Yorker in this race last year and could well go one better.
He has a 1kg negative swing in the weights with Henry Higgins for a 1,50 length defeat in the Gr2 Colorado King Stakes and has to find 3kgs on the out of sorts, Killua Castle, who was beaten 6,25 lengths there.
While Henry Higgins is less exposed at this level, Killua Castle is capable of decent performances, although he did run 11 lengths behind Yorker in 2014.
He achieved his last win in the Gr3 London News Stakes in January after that terrific runner-up to stablemate Louis The King in the Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup.
Henry Higgins ran on well in the Colorado King and could be just as effective here – he enjoys a 1kg pull with Wylie Hall. That may not be enough with the Aussie likely to strip a few notches fitter on Saturday.
Another Woodruff runner in the ever consistent Tellina finished top of the pops of those running here behind Captain America in the Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes on Classic Day.
While beaten 4,25 lengths, Tellina had all of Halve The Deficit, No Worries, Heavy Metal and stablemate Louis The King behind him.
He meets them on a kilo better terms (barring Louis whom he beat by 18 lengths and is as much as 2,5kgs better off ).
Gavin Lerena knows Tellina well and he could be the horse to chase Wylie Hall and Majmu home.
Anton Marcus rides Halve The Deficit, who finished 5,25 lengths back in the Horse Chestnut.
The son of Right Approach is well drawn and has the services of Anton Marcus, but has not won in over a year – although he has run three decent races.
No Worries finished a length behind Halve The Deficit and drops 1,5kgs in the weights. The son of Kahal is a decent gelding on his day and looks likely to serve as a pacemaker.
Heavy Metal is the second of the Tarry runners and he in turn was two lengths behind No Worries in the Horse Chestnut.
He is a kilo worse off with Tellina and needs to show his best form to feature – this extraordinarily being his third run since winning the 2013 Vodacom Durban July . So fitness levels dictate that he could be returning to something near his best.
This meeting last year was the peak of Louis The King’s career as he became the Triple Crown winner. Short of a super win in the Sansui Summer Cup and a runner-up cheque in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, the son of Black Minnaloushe has had something of a stop-start time of it.
His last run in the Horse Chestnut was his worst ever when finishing 18 lengths behind the winner. Piere Strydom reported that he felt something amiss, but nothing was found – and the fact that Striker retains the ride ahead of one or two other options, suggests that Louis could bounce right back.
More To Do
Johan Janse Van Vuuren saddles the Lateral 3yo Unparalleled, who ran a decent 3 length fourth to French Navy in the SA Classic.
The Dingaans winner tries the 2000m for the first time and from a decent draw could put his best foot forward.
The Tyrone Zackey-trained Judicial returns from a 12 week rest and has run well following a break previously.
The son of Miesque’s Approval ran a very game third behind Louis The King in the Sansui Summer Cup but has plenty to do on these terms in this company.
Everything points to Mike De Kock’s Majmu and she is the selection to beat Wylie Hall and Tellina.
With plenty of form in the shadows it would not be wise to discount the likes of Louis The King, Heavy Metal – and even the 3yo Unparalleled, who looks to have improvement to come.