Ready For Take Off

Gr3 Cape Classic at Kenilworth on Saturday

Gimmethegreenlight has placed in Gr1 company in each of his last two starts.

Gr3 Cape Classic over 1400m at Kenilworth (old course) on Saturday

With racing returning to Kenilworth on Saturday, the Western Cape season is now truly underway. The Gr3 Cape Classic heads up the eight race program and with the conditions of the event allowing those with fewer wins to receive various amounts of weight from the better horses, it might not be as clear cut as it would appear at first glance, writes Steve Furnish.

Shouldering top weight of 60kg is the only unbeaten runner amongst the nine Delago Deluxe. Formerly with Charles Laird, this son of Encosta De Lago went from strength to strength last season and showed good improvement with each outing. Effective on both good and soft ground, Delago Deluxe wound up his first campaign with victory in the prestigious Gr1 Gold Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville, and in that event which he won going away, he had both Soweto Slew and Jungle Ruler well behind him. He’s been off the track since that success at the end of May, and that has to be a concern. Champion jockey Anton Marcus has partnered him in each of his four previous racecourse appearances though, and with him flying down to ride Mike Bass’ charge, it would suggest that all is well. Usually one to race up with the speed, Delago Deluxe can still improve and drawn nicely in gate two looks sure to be right there when the race begins in earnest.

Gr1 Gold Medallion winner Delago Deluxe is the only unbeaten runner in the field.

Solar Captain

As well Delago Deluxe, trainer Mike Bass is also represented by the lightly weighted Solar Captain. This son of Captain Al won with authority when shedding his maiden tag in just his third career start and he too has been showing good improvement with each outing. A close up third to the useful 4yo Abington in his only subsequent start, Solar Captain looks sure to improve further here. Those latest two outings were both over further than he races here though and despite racing off just 52kg, he is considerably out at the weights with the more accomplished of his rivals.


An impressive winner of his first three career starts, Justin Snaith’s charge was not surprisingly taken to Durban and in making the frame in both the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe and Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes, he proved himself to be top class. He was positioned fifteenth as the sixteen runners turned for home in the 1400m Golden Horseshoe at Greyville and finishing best of all, beaten just 1,4 lengths in that event, Gimmethegreenlight could be considered unlucky. He was drawn very wide when encountering soft going for the first time in his only subsequent start in the Premier’s Champion Stakes (also at Greyville) and once again he was running on strongly at the finish. Gimmegreenlight returns from a three month break here and will no doubt have his sights set on bigger targets. Further improvement is sure to be forthcoming if ready though, and with the in form Richard Fourie in the saddle, he has to be a very serious runner.

Soweto Slew

Also representing the bang in form stable of Justin Snaith are both Soweto Slew and Great Fox.

A winner of three of his nine career starts to date, this son of Oratio had looked to be at his best over the minimum distance prior to winning the listed Sophomore Sprint over 1200m in heavy going last time out. He was only beaten a half length by Gimmethegreenlight on 1kg more favourable terms in January and with the benefit of two runs under his belt this season, he should have the edge on fitness. Soweto Slew has drawn very nicely here and fairly treated at the weights with the remainder, he must have a shout if getting the extra.

Great Fox

Although the Victory Moon colt Great Fox has achieved the least thus far, and has the lowest official rating of Justin’s three runners, he is well treated at the weights here and might not on the day prove to be the least able. Indeed, what is of particular interest here is that Great Fox, albeit in maiden juvenile company, won his only start on good ground very well. He was staying on strongly when only beaten 2,5 lengths by stable companion Soweto Slew in the listed Sophomore Sprint last time out (in heavy) and he is now 3kg better off at the weights with that one. The vastly experienced Felix Coetzee jumps into the saddle for the first time here and with very little rain forecast for Cape Town in the lead up to this event, the going could well be good. A dark horse.


A winner of two of his three starts last season, this son of Dupont met his only defeat when a half length runner up to the very talented Gimmethegreenlight in the listed Betting World 1200 in April. Dean Kannemeyer’s charge was finishing the strongest of the pair in that event and he is now 1,5kg better off the weights here. He was a little disappointing when folding tamely after being heavily supported (15/10 into 13/20) in the Somerset on his seasonal debut, but then he was racing in heavy going for the first time. His only subsequent start came over today’s distance in the Gr3 Matchem Stakes at Durbanville where after racing in midfield in good going he stayed on strongly to take third beaten 2,8 lengths. Regular partner Karl Neisius jumps back into the saddle and having his third run after the rest, he should now be at his peak.


Previously campaigned in Natal with brother Garth, Glen Puller’s charge has progressed very nicely. Indeed, after being unlucky not to win at just the second time of asking, he has impressed in winning his two subsequent starts. Although those successes were both gained over 1000m, he did win them both going away and he was running on stoutly on both occasions when tried over 1200m. Shahrukh does now take a big step up in class here and on paper has plenty to find with those higher in the weights. I do expect him to see out the extra here though, and having done no wrong thus far, he could still improve out of all proportion.

Jungle Ruler

Joey Ramsden’s charge produced a very nice turn of foot when winning on debut over 1000m back in April and at that stage of his career it did look as if he would go on to better things. Interestingly, Second Tycoon, the horse he beat in that event, has since dead heated with the unbeaten Unannounced. He’s battled to make his presence felt since being stepped up considerably in class in each of his four subsequent outings though and on those efforts is not easy to fancy. One does get the impression that we have by no means seen the best of Jungle Ruler yet and although he clearly has a very stiff task at the weights here, he could well improve.

Punta Arenus

Worst in at the weights is the most lightly raced runner in the field Punta Arenus. A victim of the weight structure rather than through lack of ability though, Stan Elley’s charge has done absolutely nothing wrong. Indeed, he was finishing best of all when running on from the rear over 1200m on debut and then in his only subsequent outing over today’s distance at Durbanville just a month ago, he opened his account. On the negative side, the form of that win was not franked by the second horse next time out, but he could do no more than win as they say and he could yet prove to be anything.

About The Pace

Although just nine go to post, there is enough speed in the race to ensure a decent pace. The four at the top of the weights have proven ability and although there are a couple of dark horses amongst the remainder, they will in all probability fight it out. Depardieu and Gimmethegreenlight top my list with preference narrowly being for Justin’s charge.

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