Third Time Lucky Today?

Quality rather than quantity is the overriding impression at Fairview today

PE star Copper Parade - ready to strike again?

Can Copper Parade win the East Cape Sprint Cup this time round?

Quality rather than quantity is the overriding impression of the 2015 renewal of the R150 000 Listed East Cape Sprint Cup which will be run on the 1200m turf at Fairview today. Only seven runners go to post, with the multiple Gr1 winning champion 7yo Copper Parade having his 52nd outing and bumping some serious in-form opposition as he attempts to win the race after two consecutive seconds.

The 2013/14 East Cape Horse Of The Year has a long and distinguished career behind him and has travelled a long road since winning the 2010 Gr1 Golden Horseshoe in the boardroom, when still trained by Joey Ramsden.

Copper Parade was given the decision over the Mike De Kock star Kavanagh on that memorable day at Clairwood and while it was his third win from five starts, he would have to wait four years before reaching the zenith of his career – a thrilling victory over champion Via Africa in the 2014 Gr1 Computaform Sprint.

His four runs since have included runner-up berths in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint and the Gr2 Diadem Stakes down at Kenilworth and Copper Parade returns home for his first run there since finishing a cracking second to Vauclair in the 2014 East Cape Sprint Cup.


Gavin Lerena

Gavin Lerena – rides Copper Parade

This will be Copper Parade’s third bash at the Sprint Cup – he also ran second to Sedge in 2013. The race is run at weight-for-age plus penalties and off his rating of 115 Copper Parade has both the class and proven ability to win.

His stablemate Al Don Cumarco has done nothing wrong in two course and distance starts since relocating to the province. He beat Clifton King at his first local start and then went down to the same horse when running on too late next time.

Gift Funeka gets on well with the son of Captain Al, and while he has plenty to do at the weights on paper, there is little doubt that he is a fast-improving sort.

Light Duty


Unannounced – looking for five from five in the Eastern Cape

With Jooste trainer Tara Laing out of action, her assistant Gavin Venter is doing a great job of keeping the winners rolling and they saddle Sir Duke and Unannounced. Both look to have plenty to do on the WFA  terms of the race, but are fit and in form, and worth considering.

Unannounced, a 6yo Australian-bred son of Snitzel, is unbeaten since making his PE debut back in October 2014.

He won his first six races in succession when in the care of Charles Laird and a mid career slump led to a revitalising change of scenery.

All his local wins have been achieved over Friday’s course and distance he would not be winning out of turn were he to make it number five.


Tara Laing - training by remote control at moment

Tara Laing – training by remote control at moment

Stablemate Sir Duke, formerly with Dean Kannemeyer in Cape Town, is another to have done really well since relocating to Tara.

The 4yo son of Trippi is obviously a lot sounder than his companion and has won 4 of his 9 runs in the region since September last year. He has earned at all of the balance of his five starts.

Sir Duke won over 1200m on debut at Durbanville and is a fit and strong galloper who will be running at them late.

Fairer Sex

Milkwood Stud’s gallant galloper Yoshie is the only filly in the field.

The daughter of Antonius Pius has never been better and she goes for her 13th win as she takes on the male flyers.

She has won her last three races on the trot and is definitely capable of pacing it with the stronger sex.

She beat Insearchofthesun and Sedge (one length) at her third last start and enjoys a 5kg turnaround with former East Cape Sprint Cup winner Sedge.

Lost Way


Gavin Smith saddles Sedge

The Gavin Smith-trained Sedge was a very promising 2yo who lost his way in midstream, but has been showing glimpses of a return to form recently.

While the son of Silvano has not achieved a win since winning this race in 2013 and looks held at the weights, he is capable of running into the trifecta and cannot be ignored.

The Steven Janse van Rensburg-trained Insearchofthesun is 2kgs better off for a 0,25 length beating by Yoshie so he could be right on top of them.

The grey son of Whitechapel is a seasoned hardknocker and as a multiple course and distance winner, he will be in the firing line – even if marginally outclassed by some.

He has been declared in blinkers again and has done well with the headgear.

Proven Class

With the race run at weight for age plus penalties, the natural leaning is towards the proven class of Copper Parade.

But the merit ratings mix in the seaside town often need to be put into perspective – and it’s not a simple case of drawing conclusions and going with the obvious.

The Laing pair of Unannounced and Sir Duke are bang in form and very fit. Yoshie is loaded with ability and very capable of winning this.

If Gavin Lerena doesn’t get Copper Parade into the race early enough, he could find himself chasing Unannounced home.

An intriguing little race to get the weekend underway.

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