Although the Cape weather has not quite got with the programme, the Sizzling Summer Season is in full swing down Rosmead Avenue and Saturday promises to be a heart-stopper. Kenilworth hosts no less than three graded races and each one is more exciting than the last.
Jet Master Stakes
Even though it’s non-black type, the field for the 1600m Jet Master Stakes holds some exciting runners. We usually don’t get to enjoy horses on our tracks for very long, but two horses who are bucking that trend are Grafton Street (10 wins, 11 places) from the Mike Stewart yard and Omaha Beach (8 wins, 20 places) from the Ramsden stable. Both are a credit to their conditioners and with 18 wins and a total of R1,765,095 in stakes earned between them, are a rare example of what can be achieved with patience, perseverance and careful management.
There is a lot of depth to the rest of the field, with personal favourite, Tales of Bravery narrowly beaten by Bravura in the recent Green Point Stakes. He is a game, workmanlike little horse and I always look forward to seeing him on parade.
The impetuous Dan de Lago from the Crawford yard can be quite a handful and has been lightly raced, so will be one to watch under expert pilot Karis Teetan.
With Master Barry and Jet Into The Wind lightly weighted and the likes of Predestination and Lancelin also in the mix, there is a lot to like in this line-up. Emerald Cove is the rose among the thorns and with Felix Coetzee in the irons, will be sure to try and give the colts a run for their money.
Gr3 Victress Stakes
The field for the 1800m Victress Stakes is another headliner. Dennis Drier, flying high after Val de Ra’s fabulous victory in the recent Southern Cross Stakes, saddles the gorgeous Beach Beauty. With Alec Forbes her pilot for 7 of her 9 starts, the 4 YO daughter of Dynasty warrants respect.
They say you should keep yourself in the best company and your horse in the worst. Well, Street Cry daughter Hollywoodboulevard seems to have taken that to heart and surrounded herself with champions. She is one of a select few able to boast that she bested current Horse of the Year, Igugu. She is owned by Equus Owners of the Year, Ingrid and Marcus Jooste, conditioned by current Cape Champion Trainer, Mike Bass and will be cantered down by our current Champion Jockey, the ever-smiling Anton Marcus.
Justin Snaith’s We Three has been on the road a fair bit of late, but her recent victory in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes over 2000m at Arlington proves that a carefully planned raiding party certainly pays off.
Flighty’s Last and Flaming Dame joined We Three for the Arlington trip, but seemed less fond of the Mandela Bay course with Flighty’s Last finishing third and Flaming Dame coming home in 12th. However, with stable staples Richard Fourie and Felix Coetzee being secured for the rides, they merit a closer look.
Croc Valley is a big galloping filly, and although she finished just short of Tick Tock in their last encounter, Cape veteran Karl Neisius has partnered her for 3 of her 5 career wins and takes up the reins again on Saturday.
In Like Flynn, the gorgeous grey daughter of National Assembly, holds the Kenilworth course record over 1400m. She’s not been enjoying the best form of late, but this is her first attempt over 1800m and with regular pilot Glen Hatt taking the reins, perhaps a turn of fortune could be on the cards.
The Drakenstein Stud bred and owned Tick Tock is conditioned on the slopes of the beautiful Franshoek mountains. This Captain Al daughter seems to run well for Grant Behr and he will pilot her round the Summer Course on Saturday.
With Karl Neisius decamping to the Bass runner, Gerrit Schechter takes the ride on the DKR challenger, Bermuda Sloop (another daughter of Captain Al). He steered her to a respectable 5th on her last outing behind Princess Victoria and it will be interesting to see how this partnership has progressed.
Grant van Niekerk takes the ride on Piet Steyn’s appropriately named Super Elegant. This daughter of Daylami finished 6th behind Princess Victoria in the recent Avontuur Fillies’ Guineas.
Dark Journey will carry Braam van Huyssteen’s cheery Tekkie Town colours for the Carl Burger stable. Although she finished 8th in the Fillies’ Guineas, she was only 5 lengths off and it will be interesting to see what this daughter of Black Minnaloushe makes of first time partner, Karis Teetan.
Gr 2 Diadem Stakes – 1200m
The hotly anticipated Diadem Stakes is going to be yet another humdinger. What A Winter showed that he is back in a winning mood. This horse is rarely out of the no 1 box, but if his results aren’t enough to earn him a legion of fans, this son of Western Winter is a real gentleman too. With regular pilot Karl Neisius booked for the trip, you’d better fasten your seatbelts folks !!
Splash Gold, the DKR contender, impressed with his win in the Post Merchants at Greyville in June, but something has seemed amiss with the son of Goldkeeper lately. Hopefully Gerrit Schlechter can find something extra in the tank.
Captain’s Secret is another member of the Bass draft and this 5 YO son of Captain Al is made very much in the mould of his sire. Bernard Fayd’herbe seems to have been able to coax the most out of the colt to date, but has a big ask on Saturday.
On an enviable winning streak, the Ramsden-Hatt combination are ignored at your peril. Let’s see what they can pull out of the bag with Copper Parade.
Glen Hatt produced grey ghost, Shades of Indigo seemingly out of no-where to grab the Merchants back in November. If this son of Indigo Magic is in a similar mood on Saturday, might well pull another surprise. Sean Cormack takes the ride this time though.
MJ Byleveld takes the ride on Captain Harry for Eric Sands. This classy son of Captain Al thought he’d done his job by getting past Delago Deluxe in the Merchants, only to find Shades of Indigo materializing a painful 0.1 of a length ahead of him at the finish. Expect them to be in the mood for revenge !
Yogas Govender has booked Robbie Fradd for the ride on Posh Josh. This son of Joshua Dancer has not enjoyed the best form of late, but perhaps a jockey change can turn that around.
Wild Shot from Stephen Page’s Philippi base is a son of Strike Smartly with 6 wins to his name. He was not far off in the Merchants, but has to lug a lot more lead on Saturday.
The Shark makes up the second of the DKR draft. This Zimbabwean born son of Kitalpha has beaten some useful sorts in his career, including besting Solo Traveller in the Pinnacle Stakes at Greyville in July. Although he’s still regularly hitting those place boxes, he seems a shade off his best. Karis Teetan will be cantering him down on Saturday and this shrewd rider might just be able to find some extra.
The headliner of the day is without a doubt, the incomparable Ebony Flyer. This quite frankly stupendous filly could be the pièce de résistance for breeder Willie Engelbrecht and the late, great champion sire Jet Master. This filly has only tasted defeat once in her 7 race career and this will be her final prep before she attempts the 2012 Queen’s Plate. She is the only filly in this field and it will not be an easy task, but she is partnered by regular jockey Felix Coetzee who knows just how to get the best out of her. I have raved about her before and seriously encourage everyone to get down to Kenilworth on Saturday to see her in the flesh.
Mr & Mrs Jooste’s fabulous import Delago Deluxe has had two starts since relocating to the Bass yard. This son of Encosta De Lago is finding the Cape harder work than anticipated and been denied the no 1 box on both occasions. However, Anton Marcus is back in the saddle and will do doubt be giving it his all on Saturday.
The final contender in our line-up is the exceptionally classy looking Royal Tribe. Hailing from Ascot Stud and running in the familiar Crabbia colours, this gorgeous son of Lecture has recently transferred to shrewd Cape conditioner, Greg Ennion. I know the connections think a lot of this colt. He ran 3rd to Princess Victoria in his second outing on Met Day this year and it will be interesting to see how he’s enjoyed his move to the Cape.
Cape Premier Sale Guineas – Clash of the Titans !
Our newly formed sales company sponsors the Cape Guineas this year and what a line-up they’ve got for us.
The undoubted rose among the thorns is the incredible Princess Victoria who recently made short work of the Fillies’ Guineas. Sean Cormack has taken over the ride on this beautiful Victory Moon filly and will be making the most of his opportunities on Saturday.
Mike de Kock does not travel all the way to the Cape for a social visit. Silver Flyer beat Whiteline Fever in the Dingaans last month under a classy ride from Glen Hatt and I see that Mike has decided not to mess with a winning formula !
Var son Variety Club is the recent victor of the Gr2 Selangor Cup with a narrow victory over Gimmethegreenlight. Joey Ramsden has booked Anton Marcus for the ride and these two will be packing some serious fire power.
Joey also saddles Master Mascus, the big dark bay son of Western Winter. Another colt with an impressive CV, this Lammerskraal bred will be partnered by Gerrit Schlechter for the first time on Saturday.
Next from the Ramsen barn is the Silvano filly, Silver Haven. Raymond Danielson takes the ride, but she finished 6th behind Variety Club in the Selangor with a decent weight allowance and I’m not sure how much she’ll enjoy being on even terms with the colts here.
The last of the Ramsden draft is The Balladeer. This Casey Tibbs colt is untested over a mile and also goes out under Grant Behr for the first time.
Gimmethegreenlight from the Snaith yard was narrowly bested by Variety Club in the Selangor and will be out for revenge. There are few who can ride a finish like Richard Fourie and they will be doing their best to make amends on Saturday.
Astro News is an interesting addition to the field. He beat Whiteline Fever in the Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes last month and has now joined the Ennion barn in the Cape. Christopher Puller has shown he’s certainly capable when given the right opportunities, and will be grabbing this one with both hands on Saturday.
Depardieu is the first of 3 for Dean Kannemeyer. This is an exceptionally classy looking son of Dupont who has made his presence felt on the Cape season. He has bested Gimmethegreenlight, although Variety Club still seems to elude him. However, Bernard Fayd’Herbe could be just what the colt needs to keep his mind on the job and they will be an interesting combination on the day.
Dean also saddles the sublime Divine Jet, who has one of the most interesting back stories of any horse I’ve met ! This horse quite simply has to be seen to be believed and with Karl Neisius in the saddle is going to be a huge runner.
Last of the DKR draft is Liancourt Rock. This bay son of Fastnet Rock will carry Felix Coetzee in the familiar Fieldspring colours on Saturday. This colt had had 3 wins from a total of 4 career starts, finishing 3rd and only 3.3 lengths back in the Selangor Cup three weeks ago.
Yvette Bremner likes to turn the tables on the Cape Raiders and brings PE contender Blaze of Fire to the party. This is another product from Maine Chance and Victory Moon who ran second to Soweto Slew in the recent PE Guineas Stakes. Yvette’s regular jockey Karis Teetan takes the ride.
Another up-country visitor is Sean Tarry, who brings his classy son of Silvano, Heavy Metal. This colt has only had 3 career starts, but Mr Tarry is a shrewd judge of horseflesh and wouldn’t be travelling all this way to take in the scenery. Robbie Fradd has partnered Heavy Metal in all his career outings and will be help him around the Kenilworth bend on Saturday.
And if that’s not enough for you, Kenilworth is offering a 10 race card on Saturday, featuring a line-up of the country’s most exciting horses, riders, trainers and owners.
So my only question to you is – what time are you getting there ?!