Flight Plan Filed

Our Master Plan for the Gr3 R300 000 Mango 2200

Master Plan. The Mango 2200 looks ripe for the taking

Master Plan. The Mango 2200 looks ripe for the taking

The R300 000 Gr3 Mango 2200 offers a consolation prize of sorts for the July fringe horses. The 2102 Gr1 Champions Cup winner Master Plan gets a great opportunity to pick up a decent cheque after a frustrating recent run.

A glance at the honour roll of a race that has changed names over time, from the first July winner, Campanajo, to various sponsor brands does not inspire thoughts of legends.

Last year’s winner Tribal Dance is one fellow who lines up in the big one this year. But there frankly aren’t too many budding champions that have won it over time.

Been Around

Master Plan is the class horse of the race and probably appropriately for the sponsor, is a well travelled sort who has been around a few yards in the course of his career.

He started out life with Glen Kotzen before moving to Greg Ennion. He had his last run for the Capetonian , a dismal effort in the J&B Met when spreading  a shoe and finishing second last to Martial Eagle, before moving to Alec Laird in Johannesburg.

The switch of trainers is probably a reflection of frustration on the part of owner Fred Crabbia, who has been aware that his son of Jet Master is well endowed with ability, but that his record doesn’t always show it.

Two Runs

Master Plan has had two runs for the Alec Laird stable.

He may have needed the outing in the Gr1 Presiden’ts Champions Challenge whne just over five lengths off Heavy Metal. He then opened his Champions Season campaign and finished under four lengths behind champion Variety Club in the Gold Challenge.

Those runs were not sensational efforts by any means, but gives an indicator of wellbeing on the part of a horse who will be far more comfortable and effective over this trip.


Pessoa. Power galloper who could find his best form again

Pessoa. Power galloper who could find his best form again

His stablemate Pessoa is a solid galloper who has won six of his seventeen outings.

The son of Go Deputy won the Kings Cup in March and has since run two fair unplaced efforts.

His 4, 65 lengths behind Jet Explorer in the Greyville 1900 was a nice effort and he is ridden on Saturday by Stuart Randolph, who won three consecutive races on him in late 2012.


Dean Kannemeyer’s 4yo Dynasty gelding Taipan is a winner of 4 of his 15 starts and has had a very quiet build up into Champions Season. He ran 8, 65 lengths behind in the Greyville 1900 and is held by the likes of Gold Onyx and Pessoa.

Taipan ran an excellent second behind the well performed Heavy Metal in last season’s Darley Arabian and is capable of raising his form profile if in a galloping mood.

He galloped with stablemate Capetown Noir in the official Met gallops and Kevin Shea gave him the thumbs up.

He is 2,5 kgs better off with Master Plan for a four length beating in the 2012 KZN Derby, and only needs to have turned the corner to be considered a runner here.


Piere Strydom rides the Greyville specialist Gold Onyx from a 2 draw.

The son of Black Minnaloushe won the Gr3 Cup Trial last season, and ran a fair race just over two lengths behind stablemate Pomodoro in the July. More recently he ran a cracker in the Greyville 1900 when running on strongly for a 2,50 length third behind Jet Explorer.

Mike Bass’ Caesour  gelding River Crossing played himself into Vodacom Durban July contention with two good consecutive wins at his last two starts.

He won the Highland Night Cup and Lonsdale Stirrup Cup and  looks to have further good improvement to come.

De Kock Trio

Mike De Kock sends out a three way coupling headed by the former Brett Crawford inmate, Patriotic Rebel.

The son of Stronghold ran a fair fourth in the KZN Derby a fortnight ago and prior to that had run 6,15 lengths behind Vercingetorix in the Gr1 Daily News 2000. If one goes further back, he did run a fair 1,10 length fourth  behind Capetown Noir in the Investec Cape Derby.

The Silvano gelding Silent Partner has not won in over a year now and is battling to get back to his consistent past form. He ran just over five lengths back in the recent Cup Trial

Mike De Kock’s Royal Academy gelding Rocco’s Luck has seen his formline taper negatively after a purple patch towards the end of last year.

He looks well held by River Crossing on the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup form.


Mike De Kock. Can never be ignored on the big days

Mike De Kock. Can never be ignored on the big days

Dennis Drier’s Top Mark comes in on bottomweight but is slightly under sufferance.

The Brazillian bred is a strong front running four time winner who jumps from the widest draw

Paul Gadsby’s Kahal gelding Black Wing ran second to Master Plan in the Champions Cup giving the Jet Master a kilo.

Vaughan Marshall’s 4yo Australian bred filly Dubai Gina has not won a race since January 2012 when scoring in the Listed Sun Classique Handicap.

She ran a fair third in the Highland Night Cup at her penultimate start but failed to quicken in a small field at her last start in a Pinnacle Stakes run over 2500m at Clairwood.


There are many with winning aspirations here.

Master Plan is classy and seems ready to win again. Taipan is held in high regard but has been disappointing. There was a whisper that he has turned the corner recently.

Gold Onyx is a course specialist and jumps from a good draw with Piere Strydom up.

Pessoa is game and talented and forms a great support for Master Plan.

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