Kotzen’s bold move

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

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.

Olympic Duel

“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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.