The R135 000 Listed The Sledgehammer sees a smart field lining up over the Scottsville 1800m on Sunday. While the Marcus engagement for Tribal Dance catches the eye, there are a few good sorts in the wings, including Alec Laird’s Kings Cup winner Pessoa.
The East Cape Derby winner Tribal Dance lost his way somewhat during the Cape’s Sizzling Summer Season and was rested for eight weeks after a fair sixth in the J&B Met. He ran handily on his return run at the end of March, when 2,10 lengths behind Roman Wall in the Easter Handicap. One can expect him to have grown in fitness in the interim.
The grey Go Deputy gelding Pessoa has won more races in his adopted province than at home in Gauteng, and the Gr3 Kings Cup winner won his sole previous start at Scottsville. Considered a Summer Cup candidate at one stage after winning the Michaelmas Handicap in a four race winning streak, he was rested after an unplaced effort in the Victory Moon.
It puzzles and worries us that Marcus may have jumped ship after the Kings Cup win in favour of Tribal Dance. But we are not privy to those arrangements.
Dean Kannemeyer brings the highly promising Liancourt Rock up in distance after a rest following a good fifth in the Cape Guineas.n Prior to that the son of Fastnet Rock had run a solid third behind Variety Club in the Gr2 Selangor Cup, and wityh his target being qualification for the July, he can be expected to put up a good showing here.
The Snaiths are represented by Jet Explorer, who impressed on his KZN debut when going down second 3,25 lengths behind Territorial Waters. He gave the Rivalland gelding 6kgs there and is now 3,5kgs better off.
Territorial Waters is another son of Fastnet Rock in the race, and won a good race from end to end in a Pinnacle Stakes over the Scottsville mile last time. He won’t be allowed to run freely here, and needs to show that he is good enough.
Gavin Van Zyl’s Big City Angel has drawn best of all at 1,and has won 3 of his 9 starts. He ran a good second one length behind Roman Wall in the Easter Handicap.
Dennis Drier’s Top Mark faded behind Territorial Waters last time, but prior to that ran a nice third behind Pessoa in the Kings Cup. He is a solid galloper who has shown a liking for the track, and could challenge for place money.
The Mike Bass coupling of the staying type River Crossing and the lightly weighted and consistent Grasp Your Destiny are both scheduled to make their KZN debut.
The latter is preferred but he appears quite a difficult ride as demonstrated by his host of second finishes. With an apprentice claim could make his presence felt in a race where a good pace appears assured.
If Kannemeyer has earmarked Liancourt Rock for bigger prizes in the months ahead, then the classy Australian could make the likes of Tribal Dance and Pessoa pick up their feet. Jet Explorer and the lightly weighted Grasp Your Destiny warrant consideration too.