Jump And Go

Gr2 Merchants Handicap, Turffontein on Saturday

King's Bay

Raider. Doug Campbell’s smart 3yo King’s Bay looks set for a forward effort at his first Gauteng outing

The fast set go head to head in Saturday’s R450 000 Gr2 Merchants Handicap run over the Turffontein straight 1160m. With these contests offering little margin for error, luck at the break could play a strategic role.

Mike De Kock and visiting KZN trainer Doug Campbell saddle five runners between them and look to hold a powerful hand.

Visiting Attack

Doug Campbell makes a rare away trip with two promising sprinters. The 3yo King Of Kings colt King’s Bay has won six of his eight career starts and was interestingly withdrawn from his last engagement, for reason that he had been sold.

There are stories doing the rounds that he is en route to Hong Kong to further his career, and one hopes that he will take his place in the line up on Saturday. King’s Bay won the Sentinel Stakes as a 2yo and has done little wrong in accounting for his peers as he steps up through the ranks.

He did try his luck over Saturday’s course and distance last year, when nine length fifth behind Willow Magic in the Gr1 SA Nursery. We all know the strength of that form. Kingston Boy is a year older, but is one of the most improved gallopers around.

A winner of his last three outings, he will be ridden again by Kevin Shea, but appears held by Desert Sheik on his eThekwini Stakes effort. He is 4kgs worse off for a nostril defeat in the Super Saturday clash.

De Kock Trio

Mike De Kock has a very strong trio of runners, headed by the Oasis Dream mare, Welwitschia. Coming off a rest of 18 weeks, the outstanding racer is a notoriously slow starter, and this is borne out by a litany of second placed efforts on her career form graph. While she cannot be selected with any genuine onfidence, it can be assured that she will be running on strongly late.

Anton Marcus gets the ride on the Trippi gelding Desert Sheik, who enjoys a 2,5kg weight turnaround with the Eastern Cape based Copper Parade on the Golden Loom result. Beaten there by 2,5 lengths, Desert Sheik will enjoy the extra time to get going afforded by the longer trip here and poses a serious threat.

Our old friend Link Man makes up the trio. The grey flyer ran a solid second behind Captain Haddock over 1400mtwo weeks ago, and may just lack the edge at this stage of his life to go with them here.

Double Bid

Sean Tarry brings last year’s winner Jackodore to the fight zone again. The daughter of Toreador was ridden by Anthony Delpech when beating Two Tone and has maintained her generally consistent form in the interim, with one victory in the mix. With Delpech riding Welwitschia this time, Piere Strydom gets the opportunity to grab the double on Jackodore.

Ormond Ferraris trains Snowdon, whose last run was slightly below par. The course and distance winner will be ridden by Bernard Fayd’herbe, and has place prospects if not leaving his challenge for too late.

East Cape

Weiho Marwing’s Here Comes Billy is a course and distance winner who comes back to what is probably is probably his preferred trip. An unplaced effort in the Charity Mile is the only blank on his recent formline.

Yvette Bremner makes the long trip from PE again with the revitalised recent Golden Loom Handicap Copper Parade. The son of Lecture picked up a five pound penalty for that convincing two length win when beating Magico. What made Copper Parade’s win even more meritorious was the fact that he was recovering from an ailment.

Marginal

Mark Dixon’s Showmetheway is another KZN visitor with a serious chance of banking some money. The speedy Muhtafal gelding has shown signs of returning to his best and could surprise if he is sound. Depardieu improved at his last outing to run the smart Prince Jazeem to two lengths when giving the Tarry star all of 4kgs.

The Dupont entire had enough quality sprint form when still with the Kannemeyer yard and even though he could be run off his feet in this type of dash, is worth considering for the back end of quartets.

James Goodman travels from KZN with the Mogok gelding, Piano Man. The 4yo takes a step up, but meets Kingston Boy on 3kgs better terms for a 2,75 length beating over the Clairwood 1200m at his last outing.

Place Prospect

Mike Azzie’s Yukon Gold has been confined to the sand at his recent starts, but is a pacy sort who has an outside place chance. The Graham Beck Stakes winner Francois Bernardus has changed stables and returns from an eight month break since a poor effort in the SA Classic.

Dominic Zaki’s Deliver The Power has his first run since going 11,10 lengths unplaced behind Jackodore in this race last year. If fully recovered, his fitness will still have to be taken on trust.

Geoff Woodruff’s Var flyer Miss October leaves the comfort of her own sex competition to take on the boys. Robbie Fradd rides her and while she looks outgunned, it may pay to include her in larger quartets.

Close Call

The race looks capable of producing a very tight finish. The KZN visiting attack of King’s Bay and Kingston Boy should be right there, with Desert Sheik and Welwitschia chasing late. It doesn’t end there with Here Comes Billy and Copper Parade right on the fringes of the action.

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