Goodbye Summer

Gr3 Chairman’s Cup, at Kenilworth on Saturday

Blake -  Durbanville 11-10-26

Class Act. The Dean Kannemeyer trained Blake looks likely to get back to winning ways in Saturday’s Gr3 Lektron Chairman’s Cup

The sun sets on the Cape’s Sizzling Summer Season this weekend and all the province’s top yards are represented in Saturday’s R200 000 Gr3 Lektron Chairman’s Cup to be run over 3200m at Kenilworth. The marathon spectacle should provide a fitting climax to a wonderful festival, and the classy Blake is expected to rise to the big occasion.

The past four months has seen horseracing out of the top drawer being hosted at the scenically beautiful Southern Suburbs venue. Nothing quite beats watching the best competing against the best, and for pure entertainment we could not have asked for better than a 3200m marathon to bring the curtain down on it all.

Dean Kannemeyer has had a memorable summer season. The cherry on the top was undoubtedly Capetown Noir’s Guineas and Derby double, a unique third time achievement for the Kannemeyers.

As the shadows lengthen over Kenilworth on Saturday, we imagine that Dean will be reflecting back on the Sizzling Summer Season and looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead in Champions Season in KwaZulu Natal.

Gold Cup

Blake will no doubt feature in the plans as the 6yo has another stab at the Ladbroke’s Gold Cup prize that eluded him narrowly in 2012, when he finished a great third to his stablemate In Writing, who won this race last season.

And while Gold Cup plans are distant thoughts right now, Blake looks the class runner in this nine horse field. The son of Dynasty has not managed to find the winner’s enclosure since the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup of 2012, but has been right on top of them recently.

He was outsprinted by his stable companion In Writing in the Cape Summer Stayers, and then had to be eased late in running when going down a half length to Jeppe’s Reef in a Pinnacle Stakes on Queen’s Plate day.

He is 2,5 kgs worse off with Jeppe’s Reef here, but the balancing factor may be that little incident that saw him eased late in Jeppe’s Reef’s slipstream. So with a bit of luck in running, and a change of jockey to the crack veteran Gerrit Schlechter, Blake may bounce back to winning ways.

With Karl Neisius away , Schlechter is an interesting engagement and it is of some minor concern that Blake will be carrying some serious deadweight.

River Crossing - Kenilworth 12-11-10

Tough Task. Mike Bass’ improving River Crossing is in under sufferance but is an improving stayer who could surprise

Bass Coupling

Mike Bass’ coupling of Jeppe’s Reef and the lightly weighted River Crossing are essential inclusions for Pick Six players. Jeppe’s Reef is a winner of 5 of his 31 starts, and the son of Jallad  has found the form of his life. He ran fourth in this race last year.

Admittedly he was a touch lucky to beat Blake last time, but as observed meets him on more favourable weight terms and could prove that to have been no fluke. The 4yo River Crossing keeps catching the eye.

A relatively lightly raced sort, he tries the 3200m for the first time and while he comes in under sufferance at the weights, could surprise them with the master Felix Coetzee up.

River Crossing has shown a nice turn of foot in his races and is a winner of 3 of 15 starts. He is 2kgs closer to Jeppe’s Reef after his older stablemate beat him1,75 lengths at their last meeting over 400m less.

He will strip a fit horse here and if Felix can settle him , River Crossing could make a mockery of the handicapper at good value. That kind of thing is known to happen in these type of races.

Just Joey

Cape champion trainer Joey Ramsden has an outstanding record in the staying ranks and in this race particularly. The Ramsden horses first tasted glory in 2000 when the gallant stayer Legal Mission got up to beat his stablemate Emerging Markets, who would come out to win the very next running of the race.

Joey won it again in 2007 when Omega Code beat his stablemate Outburst. Gold Cup winner Major Bluff won it in 2008 on his swansong, when he beat yet another Gold Cup winner in Desert Links.

Ramsden achieved all of that in those years without his faithful treadmill, a feature of his modern operation and  which will no doubt have been working overtime in these past few months. All of his trio go to post fit, and warrant consideration.

Crown Of Gold - Kenilworth 12-04-21

Dogged and Game. Joey Ramsden’s Crown Of Gold tends to get going too late, but is fit and has a big heart

Crown Class

Topping the list is the Silvano gelding Crown Of Gold, who ran a cracking third in the J&B Jet after being some way back early on. He charged through the small field to run a 2,05 length third to Ilsanpietro. Crown Of Gold just shaded Blake there and he now meets the Kannemeyer runner on 2kgs better terms, which technically gives him the edge again on paper.

There is little doubt that Crown Of Gold stays this trip, and his best recent run was a shunting half length second to stablemate Badger Lake over the course and distance in the Durbanville Cup in November.

Badger Lake won the Durbanville Cup thanks to an innovative  ride by Karis Teetan and is now 3kgs better off with Crown Of Gold.He will be ridden here by Ossie Noach.

His two subsequent runs have not exactly been top drawer however, and after a lacklustre 2, 60 length fourth to Barossa Valley in an MR 86 Handicap over 2500m, he ran stone last in the 2800m Pinnacle Stakes on Queen’s Plate day.

He had excuses though. Badger Lake jumped very slowly  and was then reported not striding out behind.That hardly engenders confidence over this arduous journey, and his fitness must be taken on trust. He is being offered for sale in this week’s Michael Holmes horses in training sale.

Pacemaker

A Boy Named Sue is the obvious pacemaker in the race. This rather average son of Caesour faded out to 9,85 lengths behind Ilsanpietro in the J&B Jet after showing his customary pace.

He comes in handily weighted under 52kgs and must have a place chance based on his good third over the course and distance in the Durbanville Cup. Piet Steyn’s  League Of Honour tries the trip for the first time, but the son of Shamardal’s recent form is not inspiring. He last won over two years ago and while he ran a fair fifth at his try over 2400m, there  is no guarantee that he will stay the trip.

Battling

Grey Cossack is another who is battling to get back into the winner’s enclosure. He finished 10, 60 lengths back in the J&B Jet and meets most of his opponents on more favourable weight terms.

He finished 8, 55 lengths behind Crown Of Gold whom he now meets on 6kgs better terms. Grey Cossack also enjoys an 8kg turnaround with Blake who walloped him by lengths there. This should bring Grey Cossack into the picture, but he is going to have to show much more enthusiasm for his racing.

Paddy O’ Reilly is struggling  to regain a semblance of his better form from bygone days. He was slow away in the J&B Jet Stayers and never got into the action to finish 7, 60 lengths behind Ilsanpietro in the J&B Jet. He is enjoying the seawater therapy at Mike Stewart’s The Dunes establishment out at Noordhoek, and it is the kind of environment that could spark life into the gelding at any time. He has, after all, run to a lifetime best MR of 105!

Selection

In a race that is hardly cut and dried, and with a guaranteed pacesetter in A Boy Named Sue, we are opting for Blake’s superior class and proven ability to win the day. He should be fit and certainly stays the trip.

The lightly weighted River Crossing is our dark horse to upset the applecart, while Ramsden’s Crown Of Gold will be running on late in the race. Jeppe’s Reef is another fit horse, who warrants consideration. We don’t see any of the others winning it.

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