Newlands in driving seat
THE Gr 3 Cartier Politician Stakes over 1 800m on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate day has become an important Investec Cape Derby pointer and the Joey Ramsdentrained Newlands looks to be the one to side with from a pole position draw with Anton Marcus up.
The Australian-bred will relish the trip, being by Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral, although he is not all about stamina as his dam is a half-sister to Golden Slipper winner and Champion two-year-old colt in Australia, Vancouver.
Newlands’ strong form gives him the edge over the rest of the field.
As a two-year-old he was staying on strongly in the Gr 3 Langerman over 1 500m to finish just 1,35 lengths behind his stalwart stablemate Table Bay, from whom he was receiving just 2kg.
In his seasonal reappearance in a Graduation Plate over 1 600m he was receiving just 2kg from the four-year-old Whisky Baron and was beaten just 1,25 lengths. Whisky Baron went on to win his next two starts and is currently the J&B Met third favourite.
Newlands lost his chance at the start of the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes over 1 400m when missing the break, but stayed on from last and finished just 5,5 lengths back.
Last time out he finished 2,55 lengths back in a MR 88 Handicap over 1 600m off a merit rating of 90, not great form at first sight, but the winner of the race was none other than William Longsword, from whom he was receiving just 1,5kg. The latter followed up by winning the Gr 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas in impressive style.
Newlands is the joint highest merit rated horse in the Politician Stakes on 91 and is officially joint best weighted together with Horizon and Sunset Eyes.
On collateral form Craven looks to have the measure of Horizon. The Candice BassRobinson-trained colt was comfortably beaten by Craven in his penultimate start and the latter had few excuses when beaten 9,3 lengths in the Cape Guineas.
Horizon is bred in the purple, being by Dynasty out of an unraced full-sister to the champion stallion Silvano.
He was unlucky in the Listed Jet Master Stakes over 1 600m and was rallying back at the line. The progeny of Dynasty improve with age and he will relish the step up in trip. The BassRobinson yard are known for bringing their horses on steadily, so Horizon can’t be written off with stable jockey Grant van Niekerk up from a good draw.
The Brett Crawford-trained Sunset Eyes was taken into the lead from a wide draw over 1 400m last time and used his big action to good effect in front, only just failing to hold on. He has never been tried over further than 1 400m and on pedigree there is a slight stamina doubt. He also looks held by Newlands on a line through Table Bay, although he is joint best in at the weights officially. On jockeys bookings, the Crawford yard appear to prefer both Carbon Offset and The Great One, as Richard Fourie and Corne Orffer have kept the respective rides.
Carbon Offset, who is by Gimmethegreenlight and is a half-brother to Gr 1 winner Forest Indigo, was keen in front last time when fading over 1600m in a handicap. However, he had stayed on to win the previous time in a 1 600m handicap when covered up in the running and comfortably beat Summer Sky, who went on to beat Sunset Eyes.
The form of Carbon Offset’s last win has worked out well, but from a wide draw on Saturday the cover he appears to need won’t be easy to find and his keen antics last time don’t augur well for the step up in trip.
He is also officially 1,5kg under sufferance with the best in.
The Great One can hardly be separated from Horizon on the form of his win over 1 400m at Durbanville in his penultimate start, although he was subsequently never in the race in the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes. The Nadeem colt should relish the step up in trip, but is officially 1kg under sufferance with the best in.
The Justin Snaith-trained Strathdon hasn’t run since early November when beaten 5,3 lengths by William Longsword over 1 600m, when receiving just 0,5kg.
Therefore, he is not far behind Newlands on form and confirming that is a line through a horse called Union Jack.
He is by Silvano so should be improving all the time and he will relish the step up in trip. He is a dark horse and is officially only 0,5kg under sufferance with the best in too. He has a good draw of three and Weichong Marwing is an interesting booking.
King Of The Rally
The Snaith-trained King Of The Rally finished just 3,25 lengths behind Cape Guineas runner up Gold Standard in a maiden over 1 600m in October. However, Gold Standard didn’t get out of third gear and furthermore King Of The Rally was receiving 4kg from the horse he beat in the Guineas Plate in PE by 0,25 lengths and the latter, Pacific Spirit, was then beaten 7,8 lengths in the Cape Guineas.
Ollivander improved over 1 800m last time, just failing from a wide draw, and is a Silvano from the Bass-Robinson yard who should be continually improving. However, on form-lines he has his work cut out and looks the yard second string. The Slade, a half-brother by Philanthropist to Gr 1-winner Afrikaburn, is an interesting runner as he beat Craven in a handicap over 1 600m when receiving only 1,5kg and is a galloping type who should enjoy this course and distance. However, he was flattered by the 1,5 length margin he finished behind William Longsword in the Sealangor over 1 600m as the latter was clearly below par on the day.
The latter trio mentioned are all officially 1,5kg under sufferance with the best in.
It all points to Newlands winning this important Derby trial.