A Show Of Champagne

Gr2 Diadem Stakes, Kenilworth on Saturday

Chave De Oura

Class Act. Chave De Oura looks well weighted for a major showing in this Saturday’s Diadem Stakes

The R300 000 Gr2 Diadem Stakes brings the curtain down on the 2013 programme in the Cape at Kenilworth on Saturday with a show that is bound to attract a bumper holiday crowd. The quality sprint feature sees the return to action of Champion Stakes winner Jackson, who is en route to a date with destiny in the 2014 J&B Met.

The destiny reference was an unintended play on the exciting looming big race battle between Jacskon and the brilliant Master Of My Fate. But that won’t be concerning Jackson’s team for now.

Tuned Up

It is difficult to imagine that trainer Brett Crawford will have the champion tuned for this race with the Met over a month away, and the son of Dynasty is also yet to win a race over the sprints. He did run fourth in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint a fortnight before winning the Champion Stakes, though. While Jackson will be a star attraction, he is not the only horse that will attract punters to the scenic Southern Suburbs track.

Great Potential

Divine Jet

Jet Power –  Dean Kannemeyer holds Divine Jet in high regard and expects a big effort from him

Dean Kannemeyer sends out a horse he has labelled the ‘best non Gr1 winning sprinter I have trained’ , while the lightly raced Chave De Oura will be out to continue Dennis Drier and Sean Cormack’s dream recent run. Both Divine Jet and Chave De Oura are sons of the supreme champion Jet Master.

He’s Alright

Then there is no doubt that passionate owner Etienne Braun will be trumping the virtues of his favourite galloper Cap Alright, who comes off a scintillating win in the Southeaster Sprint a few weeks ago.

It is in fact rather surprising that SA Champion jockey Piere Strydom did not receive his business class return ticket to try and repeat the feat and the magic of that wonderful moment in race riding. Striker’s ride on Cap Alright last time was a rare gem. Mind you, Richard Fourie is no second rate replacement and Cap Alright is a serious quartet placer, as he won’t be allowed to run wild and free out front.


Then every average SA punter’s favourite Father Christmas comes to town too. Mike De Kock is here with his gallant Oasis Dream mare, Welwitschia, who has not seen Kenilworth since an abortive assault on the 2012 Majorca Stakes. She is top class, and the locals will be keeping a close eye on her.

Welwitschia is a notoriously slow starter and ran an ordinary third in a Pinnacle Stakes behind Go Indigo last Tuesday evening at Turffontein. She is capable of turning it on late and has some sparkling Group sprint places to her credit.


A glance at the glittering honour roll of this race will give Brett Crawford some hope that Jackson can come out fresh and win it. Horses like Met winner Past Master and multiple Met champion Pocket Power are just two recent examples which show that horses that go a mile, can go close here. The Diadem is inevitably run at a cracking pace and very often into the teeth of a Southeasterly gale.

That will bring the frontrunners right back to the gang and give the likes of Jackson a serious chance. And Jackson’s fitness will have to be taken on trust at this stage, as he has not seen action since winning the Gr1 Champion Stakes on Super Saturday in such sensational style.


Michael Clower recently reported that Jackson is being constantly monitored for signs of stress. Racehorses can become stressed much like humans and, as with them, the stress can be caused by a welter of self-expectation. Brett Crawford is convinced that it was the cause of the stomach ulcers that were discovered after last season’s Met.

He told Clower that : “Jackson is not a stressful sort but who knows what goes through a horse’s mind? He was suffering from heat exhaustion after finishing second in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate when the false start undoubtedly contributed to the stress.”

Once the ulcers were identified and cleared up, Jackson thrived once more and his performance under top weight in the Champions Cup in July was, at least arguably, his best yet. However the problem is always lurking in the background. Crawford said: “It’s a constant battle to stop the ulcers recurring. We have to feed him differently and monitor him all the time.”

Jet Powered

Dean Kannemeyer declared some time ago that he was aiming to win a few decent sprint features with the striking Divine Jet. His charge was lacking fitness when slow away and charging through late to be beaten narrowly by Tevez and Chave De Oura in the Merchants. He is marginally better off with Chave De Oura and substantially better off with Tevez, and he will be a lot more match fit.


The 2012 Cape Classic winner Chave De Oura is a lightly raced fellow, who returned from an eight month break to run a cracker in the Cape Merchants when going down narrowly to Tevez.

He now has a winning turnaround of some five kgs with Tevez and it is comforting that his trainer Dennis Drier has no regard for the second run after a rest syndrome.

Top Yard

The Bass trio of Tevez, Castlethorpe and Captain’s Secret hail from a stable that certainly know how to win the Diadem. History tells us that. The improving Tevez is obviously the best of the three, but looks to have an uphill battle to beat Chave De Oura and Divine Jet on these weight terms. He could have the edge over Cap Alright with the extra 100m in his favour .

Castlethorpe has not earned a brass farthing this year, but did run on well for second in the 2012 Diadem Stakes behind What A Winter. He ran an ordinary kind of race in the Green Point Stakes when unplaced behind Ice Machine last time and appears unlikely to have a say in the finish.

Captain’s Secret is a 7yo who appears to have lost his enthusiasm for racing. He would have to up his game dramatically to have a place chance here. Justin Snaith sends out a support for Cap Alright, in the Jallad gelding Villa Del Largo. While a capable four time winner, he looks hard pressed on these terms against the better sprinters.


We are going with the classy Divine Jet and Chave De Oura to fight it out to make it another big afternoon for Jet Master. Welwitschia and Jackson will be running on and should be most competitive of the rest.

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