Kotzen’s bold move
GLEN Kotzen has taken the bold step of running his top three-year-old Gold Standard in the R5 million Sun Met, thus forgoing the chance of winning the Gr I Investec Cape Derby where the big bay would likely have been hard to beat.
There is sound reasoning to his decision despite the race having not been won by a three-year-old since Mike de Kock did it twice successively with Horse Chestnut and Badger’s Coast in the years 1999 and 2000.
Kotzen has no doubt the Trippi colt will stay the 2 000m trip and said, “People say Trippi’s don’t stay 2 000m, but this one will stay every inch of it. We gave him a hard gallop over 2 000m at Kenilworth recently and he put up an excellent performance. He has a very stout female line too.
“His second dam is the champion Olympic Duel, who won the Met herself (and her foals include Gr 1 Daily News 2000 winner Flying Duel as well as a number of other 2 000m horses and stayers). We train his half-sister All Mine and she has won over 1600m and placed over 2 000m despite being by Var.”
Gold Standard won his maiden third time out over 1 600m at Durbanville by a comfortable 3,25 lengths.
There was a lot of clamour about Craven’s win over the same distance on the same day and in spite of Kotzen pointing out that his horse had run a quicker time it fell on deaf ears. However, he is now able to say I told you so in no uncertain terms. Gold Standard first travelled down to win the Listed RA Stakes over 1 600m, a race which has produced two Vodacom Durban July winners, including the Kotzen-trained Big City Life.
He then won the Gr 2 Selangor Cup over 1 600m at Kenilworth at odds of 28-1, relegating the deemed unbeatable Table Bay to third, beaten 2,65 lengths.
Then in the Gr 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas he finished a 0,5 length second to the impressive William Longsword.
This pair had a dominant look about them as they drew clear, beating the rest of the field, headed by Table Bay, by 3,25 lengths.
Kotzen said, “Had they gone a decent pace I think he would have won it. However, if he had won it he would have had to carry a 2kg Gr 1 penalty in the Met and we would then have likely gone for the Derby instead.
“Looking at the Met, Legal Eagle has beaten the same horses, he has never been challenged by a younger horse and I think the current three-year-old crop is quite strong. If you look at Bold Rex, who was beaten 7,65 lengths in the Queen’s Plate, Gold Standard is actually eight lengths better than him on collateral form through Heavenly Blue.
“Plus we have the further 2kg pull because Legal Eagle has to carry a Gr 1 penalty. If you look back in history, Gimmethegreenlight won the Cape Guineas and without the ensuing Gr 1 penalty he guaranteed wins the Met, because he was beaten into third by just 1,15 lengths. So I am very excited about next Saturday’s race.
“He is really well. It would be nice to crack a good draw, but it’s not too important as he came from last to win the Selangor.”
Richard Fourie is in top form and rides him for the third time in succession.
Gold Standard will not be galloping at the Met Gallops this morning (Thursday), although he will be on course for patrons to view in the parade ring. He had the recent hard workout over 2 000m and another grass gallop would not fit into his preparation program. Kotzen has a strong team of horses on the lucrative day and his comments on the rest of his runners will appear in the Racegoer next week.