Makes Sense To Get A Royal Badge!

A genuine test of endurance adds a unique dimension to today's proceedings

A genuine test of endurance adds a unique dimension to the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival today.

The 3200m round the course R250 000 Gr3 Chairman’s Cup has attracted a small but competitive field of longhaul merchants.

This race was traditionally run in February at the end of the Cape Summer Of Champions but it has been brought forward a month.

Joey Ramsden -master of the staying ranks

Unlike the speed and middle distance set, the staying ranks just do not boast any star material most of the time and the handicap conditions spice the cocktail to the level of a possible field leg in the jackpot and Pick 6.

Joey Ramsden has always been a noted producer of good stayers.

Given his background and education in the game, he seems to enjoy a good slog with anybody brave enough to take him on and won this race with the retreaded stayer and former Gold Challenge winner, King Of Pain.

The Goodhope Racing artillery over ground is not as strong this season as it has been at times in the past and Joey brings the 7yo Coltrane back for another bid at glory.

Coltrane – flashback to his win in this event in 2015

The son of Giant’s Causeway won this race in 2015 and finished a reasonable enough third behind stablemate King Of Pain last year.

He ran a really decent fifth at his penultimate start in the Victory Moon Stakes over a trip short of his best , but then produced a shocker on Summer Cup day when tailed downfield in the Gr3 RA Handicap.

Anton Marcus appears to have deserted him – a concern compounded by the fact that the top jock doesn’t have a ride in this race. Donovan Dillon is an enthusiastic youngster though and he may be the tonic to turn the old boy around.

Royal Badge wins the Gr3 Cape Summer Stayers (photo: Wayne Marks)

Adam Marcus produced the goods on Cape Guineas day with Royal Badge running out a convincing winner of the Cape Summer Stayers Handicap.

The son of Go Deputy had been quite frustrating up to that point, with his very decent third behind Marinaresco in the Gr3 Winter Classic standing out like a sore thumb on his formline.

Corne Orffer does the honours again and if Royal Badge can assert his authority, he could yet have a bright future with the SA Champions Season staying features ahead.

Mike de Kock’s Smart Mart stays all day and was a course and distance winner in the Listed Kenilworth Cup at his penultimate start.

Smart Mart gets the better of Three Balloons in the Kenilworth Cup – stays well and must have a shout

Beaten 3,50 lengths by Royal Badge last time, he meets the Marcus runner on 2,5kgs better terms and could stay himself into contention with a handy galloping weight.

Glen Kotzen’s Banner Hill is an improving stayer and tries the 3200m for the first time.

It could have proven an astute move to sharpen him up over 1800m last time and he comes in very fit – and an interesting unknown over the trip.

Justin Snaith’s pair of Ovidio and Arezzo both stay well.

Topweighted Ovidio, like Banner Hill, had a prep run over a shorter trip.

He finished only 3,75 lengths off Icy Trail in the Gr2 Premier Trophy . He is a very genuine stayer and worth including with Piere Strydom up.

Stablemate Arezzo enjoys a 3kg swing in his favour with Royal Badge, who beat him 5,90 lengths in the Cape Summer Stayers. That may not be enough to turn the tables.

Snaith’s Arezzo stays well

The Bass-Robinson-trained My World has not won in over a year but continues to find minor place money.

The son of Ideal World ran probably his best recent race in recent times over Saturday’s course and distance and will probably be in the back end of quartets again.

He is 2,5kgs better off with Royal Badge for a 3,70 length beating in the Summer Stayers – but the younger horse must have more scope for improvement.

Roman Discent is another who tries the 3200m for the first time.

While never far off the action, he looks held by Royal Badge on his last run.

The 7yo Gothic is a course and distance winner of over a year ago but his recent form does not inspire confidence.

If Royal Badge does not find his feet at his step up to the next level, the race suddenly gets thrown wide open.

Ovidio, Smart Mart, Banner Hill and Coltrane look next best. And beware – there could be an absence of pace!

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