If he is as good as his trainer believes he is, the Silvano gelding Hot Ticket should get back on the winning track when he lines up in the R125 000 Listed Woolavington Handicap to be run over 2400m at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Dean Kannemeyer has not been shy to speak about the Digteby Stud bred chestnut as a prospective J&B Met candidate. He has described the 4yo as a typical Silvano product, who is just getting better with age and experience.
Hot Ticket faces ten fair staying opponents at varying stages of their respective careers, but it is a universe without any bright stars, to be fair. Hot Ticket opened his seasonal account in the Gr3 Matchem Stakes when a pleasing sixth and 5,75 lengths behind his illustrious stablemate Capetown Noir. That was over a distance way short of his optimum trip and was his first run in some 14 weeks since an unlucky loser of the KZN Derby, when encountering traffic problems.
Justin Snaith’s Cigar Boy is 1,5kgs better off with Posh Boy for a 2,30 length third in the Settlers Trophy. His good third behind the talented Gifted For Glory in the Gr3 Winter Derby over Saturday’s course and distance brings him into the reckoning here. That said, he has proven something of a disappointment from time to time and has not won since putting things together in a lowly rated handicap at Kenilworth almost a year ago.
Stan Elley’s Surging River gelding Texas Flood continues to confound the experts. A horse who took sixteen runs to win his maiden, he has won 3 of his next 10 starts, and comes in here with a nice galloping weight under his favourite pilot, Denies Lee. While we will stick with the assessment that he is no star and lacks the class of some of those at the top of the handicap, it is possible that Texas Flood could deliver the goods with a game effort again.
Anton Marcus makes a rare trip to the Cape, no doubt motivated by the ride on Red Ray in the Cape Classic. He puts a leg over the Dynasty gelding Paddy O’ Reilly here, for Mike Stewart. The 2013 Glenlair Trophy winner ran a terrific race to finish fifth and only 2,85 lengths behind Jeppe’s Reef in the Gold Cup, after an epic road trip from his Noordhoek base.
He has had just the one run in the Listed Settlers Trophy at Durbanville a month back. There Paddy O’Reilly lost a shoe in running , before plodding one paced into fifth and just 3,6 lengths behind Posh Boy. All of Nysean Bolt, Cigar Boy and Texas Flood, who finished ahead of him are better off and should beat him again. That said, the Marcus factor could make a difference.
The Mike Bass trained River Crossing won the Highland Night Cup and the Lonsdale before losing his way in his last two Champions Season runs, the last an unplaced effort behind his stablemate in the Gold Cup.
The son of Caesour never showed in his pipe opener behind Ice Machine over 1800m at Durbanville , but it may be worth noting that he was considered good enough to be entered for the Vodacom Durban July. He did not make the final cut.
Turn Of Foot
Joey Ramsden trains the second of the Silvano progeny in Crown Of Gold. This fellow has produced a solid late turn of foot in his races. The well bred gelding won the PE Gold Cup in sensational style last season, before running third behind Texas Flood in soft going over the course and distance in August. He is all of 3kgs better off with Texas Flood and if not in need of the outing, could enjoy the ground on top and a good pace.
Riaan Van Reenen sends out a coupling of Barossa Valley and Settlers Trophy winner, Posh Boy. Now an 8yo, Posh Boy has won 9 of his 64 starts, and bounced back at his last run, winning the Listed Settlers Trophy run over 2400m at Durbanville.
He won two on the trot in KZN in November and December last year, and appears to not have lost any enthusiasm for his racing, despite a dance with death after an illness earlier this year.
He is slightly worse off with Nysean Bolt and Cigar Boy on his Settlers win, and there should not be too much in the fight for places. Barossa Valley has been rested since a poor effort over the course and distance in early August.
The son of Eyeofthetiger is three years younger than his stablemate and is a fair stayer, having won 6 of his 28 starts to date. He may lack for match fitness on Saturday, but will get every assistance from the saddle is the shape of KZN based Sean Cormack, who has won on him before.
The unpredictable and enigmatic Nysean Bolt showed a glimmer of a form return at his last start, when going a decent second behind Posh Boy in the Settlers Trophy. He appears well over his head problems at the starts and comes in here a fit horse. He is a half kilo better off with Posh Boy, who beat him narrowly and trainer Greg Ennion will be hoping that Muzi Yeni, who was aboard last time, can induce another solid effort out of this gelding.
The Vaughan Marshall trained Dubai Gina makes her seasonal debut after an unplaced run in the Gr1 Gold Cup. She stays well on her day, but had a generally disappointing Champions Season campaign, and needs to show more. The Dynasty mare Dancing Dynasty is the second the female duo. She has not run for ten weeks and her form is generally poor. She should struggle against the stronger established staying males in this race.
Hot Ticket is a confident first choice to take his next step up the ladder to success. He is expected to win this at the expense of Paddy O’Reilly and Crown Of Gold.