The longhaulers clash in an exciting showdown and curtain call to the 2013/14 Summer Of Champions season at Kenilworth on Saturday. With a stifling heat wave blanketing the Cape and 3200m of hard slogging ahead, the R250 000 Lektron Gr3 Chairman’s Cup is sure to prove a test of serious stamina and raw resilience. And once again it may pay to follow the proven yards.
Fitness and the ability to stay every inch of the 3200m trip will be non negotiable attributes when the field of twelve line up to face the starter in the penultimate feature event of the Cape summer season.
This race’s past results and our general experience of dealing with the locals on an ongoing basis also suggest that it may pay to go with the proven professionals. Joey Ramsden, Dean Kannemeyer and Mike Bass are three men that know exactly what it takes to win this race. They could dominate the show yet again.
Ramsden won the race last year with the Caesour gelding A Boy Named Sue who never won another race. Kannemeyer won it in 2012 with the subsequent Gold Cup winner In Writing, while Bass won it in 2009 with current sire Meteor Shower and in 2011 with Marsh Shirtliff’s Golden Parachute.
Dean Kannemeyer breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after a leanish spell, when Sir Duke scored a fluent win and the Milnerton conditioner will be hoping that his yard goes further around the corner when the Silvano gelding Hot Ticket goes to post here. The 4yo is a smart staying prospect in the making and like most of the Silvano progeny, he is expected to mature with age.
He is the joint top rated runner here with Mike Stewart’s trojan, Paddy O’Reilly. His tilt at the J&B Met was definitely a bridge too far at this stage of his career, and from a 17 draw he stayed on without showing. He is a horse who takes a fair amount of work and he should strip fit here.
He beat Cigar Boy in the Listed Woolavington Handicap run over 2400m in October and had the likes of Posh Boy, Crown Of Gold and Paddy O’ Reilly well beaten. The topweight Paddy O’Reilly is a top class stayer on his day but has his issues and ran a modest race in the Gr2 J&B Jet Stayers on Met day.
Joey Ramsden sends out a Jooste trio of Coltrane, Silver Holly and Crown 0f Gold. The Argentinian bred Coltrane is a quietly progressive staying son of Giant’s Causeway and was prominent for a long way when going down second and 1,25 lengths to River Crossing in the Gr2 J&B Jet Stayers. That loss could largely be ascribed to the superior riding prowess of Anton Marcus and Anthony Delpech jumps aboard Coltrane on Saturday.
His stablemate Silver Holly won the Listed Sun Classique Handicap last month under a pearler of a ride by Sean Cormack. The 4yo daughter of Silvano now steps up a notch or two and will have her work cut out over this trip against the males. She will be ridden by crack lightweight, Grant Van Niekerk.
The 2013 PE Gold Cup winner Crown Of Gold is out of form but is always capable of a forward showing over this sort of ground. Mike Bass saddles the 2013 Gold Cup winner Jeppe’s Reef. The son of Jallad has failed to spark in four runs since then and needs to find his best form again before he can be fancied to trouble the more in form runners.
An interesting runner is the PE visitor Drill Sargeant, who should cause a nightmare for the commentator as one of four Jooste runners in the race. Tara Laing’s yard is in top form and she makes the journey with the 5yo Dynasty gelding who has chalked up eight smart wins over ground.
Drill Sargeant left Cape Town a one time winner in April 2012 and has matured into a good staying sort who certainly looks worthy of his place in this lineup. He is yet to win over the 3200m , but did run a nice third behind Crown Of Gold in the 2013 PE Gold Cup (a race run over 400m further) and certainly stays all day.
Brett Crawford’s Wavin’ Flag has often looked like a horse who is going the right way, but has had his fair share of excuses and below par runs. The 4yo son of Silvano is just a two time winner, and again ran on too late when going fourth behind River Crossing in the J&B Jet Stayers. He wears the blinkers again and comes in on a handy galloping weight. The rest look unlikely to challenge the top few.
Go For Gold
Dean Kannemeyer’s Hot Ticket could commence his 2014 Gold Cup assault with a good win here. The classy son of Silvano is selected to beat Coltrane and Drill Sargeant, with Paddy O’ Reilly and Jeppe’s Reef, the possible placers.
Prawns On The Lawns
The R250 000 Lektron Gr3 Chairman’s Cup and the R250 000 Two Oceans Racing Gr3 Prix du Cap enjoy feature billing at the popular Cape Town Prawn Festival at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday. The regular sponsor, Lektron will be giving away 100 prizes of household appliances to the value of R70 000. But patrons will need to be on course to qualify for these prizes.
Entry to this on-course festival is free, with prawns temptingly sold at unbeatable prices – half kg R59/ 1kg R99, including rice & chips. Adding to the vibe on the day will be a live broadcast by Goodhope FM with plenty of free kiddies entertainment also laid on for eager youngsters. It promises to be a great day for racing fans and seafood lovers and indeed a fun outing for the whole family to savour as the Summer of Champions season draws to a close.