Stay The Night

NBT Highland Night Cup, at Clairwood on Sunday

Blake

Class. The smart Dynasty stayer Blake could get back to winning ways in the Highland Night Cup

The R120 000 NBT Highland Night Cup to be run over 2500m at Clairwood on Sunday presents the top class stayer Blake with a perfect platform to resume his winning ways. The son of Dynasty stands out as the class stayer in a small field of longhaulers.

This non black type race is named in honour of the top-class stayer Highland Night, who achieved the rare distinction of a Gold Cup double, winning it in 2002 and 2003.

The son of Badger Land was trained to his first win by the late legend Buddy Maroun and then switched to Dennis Drier. He ran in the familiar blue, white and red silks of Andre and Joyce Macdonald.

Top Sort

It is quite difficult to believe that a stayer of the talent of Dean Kannemeyer’s Blake has not won in close on a year now, since he grabbed the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup in great style. He has run some top quality places, including a fighting third in the Gr1 Ladbroke’s Gold Cup to his stablemate In Writing.

Blake is probably a classic example of a horse that the handicapper has caught up with, and while his heart and courage have kept him competitive, he deserves some relief. He probably meets the right kind of field here, and will be looking to register his tenth win, if not needing the run after a 78 day break.

Sean Tarry’s Kolkata faded badly at his last start when running downfield in the Easter Handicap. He is a fair stayer when on song, and is capable of surprising this lot. One just wonders whether Anton Marcus opted for Dubai Gina over him. In which case it is difficult getting too excited about his chances.

Raging Torrent

River Crossing

Unexposed. Mike Bass’ River Crossing may be better than rated and could surprise

Anthony Delpech rides River Crossing for Mike Bass. The son of Caesour has won 3 of his 17 starts, and would have found the 1800m of the Listed Sledgehammer too short last time. He ran a fast finishing second behind A Boy Named Sue in the Chairmans Handicap run over 3200m at the end of February, and looks a lot better than he is rated.

The 4yo Dubai Gina is the only filly in the race and with Anton Marcus and trainer Vaughan Marshall’s recent cracking feature strike rate, she must be taken into account. Against the daughter of Dubai Destination will be the fact that she has not seen action since a fast finishing second behind Ilsanpietro in the J&B Reserve Stayers on Met day.

The Yogas Govender trained Storm Sagaz bounced back to best with a smooth end to end win over the Clairwood 2000m last time out. That was the Argentinian bred son of Bersnstein’s first win after a prolonged dry spell, and he is a hardy sort who could go in again if allowed to dictate matters.

Throne

Colin Scott’s Dynasty gelding Sage Throne has not won in over a year, but ran on stoutly for fourth behind Roman Wall in the 2000m Listed Easter Handicap at his last start.

While he has been an overall disappointment after the hype of his 3yo season, Sage Throne will appreciate the extra ground here and could be a threat to Blake if things go his way.

Kum Naidoo’s Opera King gelding Scoop The Pool registered a smart hat trick following his maiden win, including a good course and distance victory,and ran on steadily behind the ill fated Badger Lake at his last run over the Scottsville 2400m.

While a fit and capable stayer, he remains in under sufferance and has no chance with the top horses at the weights. Frank Robinson’s Argentinian bred Dunn Carrer comes in miles under sufferance and it is difficult making any sort of case for him. All the signs point to Blake, and he is our selection to get his Gold Cup campaign back on track.

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