Coming Of Age Today

It looks a terrific spectacle of a chess game-type race in the making.

Zambezi River

Zambezi River

The R1 million Betting World Gr2 Gauteng Guineas may not end up the straight shootout between Harry’s Son and Unparalleled that it appears at first glance. Both have proven vincible. Unparalleled looks to have had the better prep. But his wide draw is going to give his connections a few tactical headaches. Whatever happens, it looks a terrific spectacle of a chess game-type race in the making.

We have reached the point in the season where the boys become men. If they have what it takes, that is.

Any horse aspiring to walk in the footsteps of the likes of the ill-fated Horse Chestnut, and more recently Louis The King, needs to show now that he is ready to leave the comforts of Mommy’s home cooking and go to war.

While the top two of Harry’s Son and his Dingaans conqueror Unparalleled look the obvious, there are others – like Mike De Kock’s and Sean Tarry’s troops that are capable of upsetting matters.


Harry's Son - closer to the action this time?

Harry’s Son – closer to the action this time?

But after the Dingaans, it could be a case of once bitten, twice shy for Piere Strydom.

The chances are that the great jockey will have Harry’s Son (114) in a more forward attacking position and he is not going to allow a repeat of the Dingaans where Unparalleled (112) ruled the roost and rocketed away to win by 4.25 lengths.

It is not the first time that Gavin Lerena has done that to Striker in recent months.

In the Dingaans the Johan Janse van Vuuren runner had the benefit of No 3 draw in a field of 16 runners but this time jockey Gavin Lerena will need to overcome a wide draw.

Unparalleled wins Dngaans_compressed

A bad draw will damage Unparalleled’s victory aspirations

Unparalleled was rested after his Dingaans victory but has come out to win a Graduation Plate over 1160m at Turffontein and then looked a touch unlucky to finish a half -length third in the Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1450m on the inside track.

His prep may rank as a more positive one than that of the well-travelled Harry’s Son,

Following his run in the Dingaans, Harry’s Son was airlifted to to Cape Town and put up a solid effort to finish a 1.75-length second behind Act Of War in the Gr1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas at Kenilworth in December.   It was an obviously decent run as he was hampered in running.

He now runs off a ten week break against a super fit Unparalleled.

De Kock Duo

Anthony Delpech  - back with a quick winner

Anthony Delpech – ride Mutamakkin

Mike De Kock always needs to be taken into account and he saddles Anjaal (105) and Mutamakkin (97).

While the handicapper may think otherwise, the second mentioned is the ride of Anthony Delpech and may be stable elect.

The son of Redoute’s Choice ran just behind Belong To Me in the Gr3 Tony Ruffel but has to find 2kgs on his conqueror. That looks tough.

Anjaal ran a cracking third to Harry’s Son in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes last term but failed at 5 to 10 in a Novice Plate on his return to action on Valentine’s Day. It is fair to assume that he will be a fitter horse on Saturday and has the added plus of a good draw.

Poor Draw

Vaughan Marshall - Mljet may need it after gelding

Vaughan Marshall – Mljet may need it after gelding

Trainer Vaughan Marshall has warned that his charge Mljet (105) has recently been gelded and could be in need of a run. He is also poorly drawn here.

The son of Jet Master is another that looks held by Harry’s Son on the Cape Guineas form and appears to be battling to put a serious winning effort together.

Belong To Me (102) has found his form with two good wins on the trot. The son of Antonius Pius won the Gr3 Tony Ruffel beating Mutamakkin and Unparalleled and now has to find 1,5kgs on the Dingaans winner.

They are both badly drawn and one has to believe that Unparalleled will be the better over the extra 200m.

Anton Marcus rides Dominic Zaki’s very fast Precursor (101), who returns from the Cape where he ran a respectable 4,05 length fourth to Brutal Force in the sales race.

Tarry Trio

Sean Tarry - saddles three

Sean Tarry – saddles three

Sean Tarry has a strong trio of Zambezi River (101), Imperial Gold (102) and the improving French Navy (99).

Zambezi River is probably the best proven of the three but has failed at his only start at a mile. That was his lacklustre effort when beaten 6 lengths in the Cape Guineas.

French Navy ran on well behind Unparalleled and Harry’s Son to grab third from a less than decent draw in the Dingaans.

He also caught the eye when running on for fourth behind subsequent Cape Derby winner Ertijaal in the Listed Sea Cottage Stakes.

Roy Magner’s Prince Of Orange (99)looks a decent sort in the making and won two good low-key handicaps in succession.

He looks held on his last run though by Belong To Me.

The Captain’s Tune (96) has drawn 17 and while he has run two better races (including a smart win) since returning to home base, his CTS Ready To Run Stakes effort at Kenilworth, when 3,80 lengths behind Zambezi River, indicates that he will be held again.

Foxy Move

Sean Cormack

Sean Cormack – rides Forest Fox

Sean Cormack has previously ridden Arniston and Leven Point, but jumps aboard Forest Fox (94) for Paul Peter.

The son of Dupont loomed up dangerously in the final 400m of the CTS Book 2 Graduates race but stopped to run 3,25 lengths behind Siren’s Call.

He had won his previous two starts by an aggregate of 12 lengths and if ridden with more restraint o Saturday, could challenge for the back-end of quartets.

The Marwing brothers team up with the Lateral gelding Illuminati (93).

Still a one-time winner, he has drawn very wide and needs to get lucky and improve many lengths to have a chance here.

Frank Robinson’s Leven Point (93) and the Joey Soma trained Arniston (94) have been withdrawn and in that instance Fah Fee (86) and Amsterdam (88) get a run.

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