Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge Attracts Class Entry

Countdown to 8 June at Hollywoodbets Greyville

A nationally representative entry of 16 has been received for the 53rd renewal of the premier SA Champions Season weight- for-age mile, the R2 million Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge, which will be run at the Theatre Of Dreams on 8 June.

Hollywoodbets Greyville will host the prestigious contest just a month in advance of the Hollywoodbets Durban July, and ten of the potential Gold Challenge starters are also in the entry list for the R5 million spectacular.

Richard Fourie and Legislate grab honours in the 2015 Gold Challenge (Pic – Gold Circle)

Justin Snaith’s now retired star Do It Again was the most recent galloper to achieve the Gold Challenge – Durban July double back in 2019 and the stable achieved another 21st century same year double winner with the brilliant filly Dancer’s Daughter. Pocket Power, Big City Life and Legislate all achieved the double, but in different years.

Event-1 R2 000 000 1600m (Turf)
15 Al Muthana (AUS) Ricky Maingard 123
16 Bingwa J A Janse van Vuuren 123
2 Cousin Casey Sean Tarry 123
9 Dave The King Mike de Kock 126
4 Double Superlative Justin Snaith 124
17 Gimme A Nother SCRATCHED Mike de Kock 125
1 Gimmeanotherchance Mike de Kock 115
10 Gladatorian Stuart Ferrie 120
5 Imilenzeyokududuma Gareth van Zyl 105
8 Itsrainingwilliam Justin Snaith 108
14 Lucky Lad Sean Tarry 121
3 Main Defender Tony Peter 131
6 Rascova Glen Kotzen 119
11 Royal Aussie Justin Snaith 124
7 Sandringham Summit David Nieuwenhuizen 123
12 See It Again Michael Roberts 132
13 Snow Pilot Justin Snaith 120

Main Defender – could return to East Coast  (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Two 3yo stars in Tony Peter’s Main Defender and the David Nieuwenhuizen charge Sandringham Summit top the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge ante-post betting boards, and will be looking to make it a double for the sophomores after Charles Dicken’s electrifying victory last year.

Main Defender was a highly publicised withdrawal due to elevated TC02 levels from the IOS Drill Hall Stakes earlier this month, while Sandringham Summit was beaten by subsequent Daily News 2000 star Green With Envy in the WSB Gr2 Guineas on 11 May.

Other 3yo’s to win the Gold Challenge in recent times include Brett Crawford’s Undercover Agent, who gave Lyle Hewitson his maiden career Gr1 success in 2018, and Joey Ramsden champion Variety Club who won it in 2012 and 2013.

Undercover Agent’s Gold Challenge win gave Lyle Hewitson his first ever Gr1 victory (Pic – Gold Circle)

Mike de Kock’s Dave The King has been touted as representing some value at double digit odds after his recent confidence boosting Hollywoodbets Scottsville victory, while the Randjesfontein legend also has 3yo Gimmeanotherchance in at first stage.

Justin Snaith’s quartet includes recent IOS Drill Hall Stakes winner Royal Aussie, and the 2024 Gr1 Cape Town Met winner Double Superlative, who was announced as having retired to stud in February. The son of Twice Over suffered a tendon injury in Durban in early 2022, after winning the Cape Guineas in 2021. He was off for over 14 months and made a miraculous recovery to return and win the WSB Cape Town Met.  Efforts to obtain a comment on Double Superlative were unsuccessful.

Sean Tarry last won the Gold Challenge 17 years ago with Successful Bidder ridden by Brett Smith, and the former multiple national champion has a pair in recent unlucky Drill Hall runner-up Cousin Casey, and the very smart 3yo, Lucky Lad.

Cousin Casey ran last in this contest last year, after fighting Smanga Khumalo early in the race, in his newly fitted blinkers. Ironically Bling’s first ride back on the son of Vercingetorix was in the recent Drill Hall Stakes, where traffic late in the race cost him.

Rascova (Craig Zackey) beats Double Grand Slam (Richard Fourie) in the WSB Gr2 Fillies Guineas (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The only member of the fairer sex in the first entry is the Glen Kotzen trained recent WSB Gr2 Fillies Guineas winner Rascova, who races for Sandy and Eugene Arundel, and has pulled a fair 6 from 16 gate.

Last year’s Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge winner Charles Dickens has been retired to stud, and his trainer Candice Bass-Robinson does not have an entry at this stage, and neither do Eric Sands and Brett Crawford, both dual winners in the last decade.

Supplementary entries close at 11h00 on Friday 31 May, with declarations due on Monday 3 June by 11h00.

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