Class versus stamina
THE Gr 1 Investec Cape Derby over 2 000m at Kenilworth on Saturday could have class versus stamina as its chief protagonists. Table Bay, an Australian-bred by Redoute’s Choice, is merit rated seven points higher than any other runner on 107. He has a ton of class, a beautiful action and a fine turn of foot.
He does have a speedy pedigree, but milers are able to win this race if they have the class, with Capetown Noir being a good example.
However, they would usually be ridden cold to do so and this is an unlikely scenario with this horse as his good gate speed and big action has consistently taken him to the front over shorter.
But from a draw of two there is perhaps a chance Table Bay could end up sitting behind the front-running sort Winter Is Coming, who is drawn wide.
Jockey Anton Marcus will have to be at his brilliant best to keep enough in reserve for this highly regarded horse.
Edict Of Nantes stayed on from well back in the Grand Parade Cape Guineas to be beaten 0,6 lengths by pace setter Table Bay.
He beat Table Bay when running on strongly from near last in the Selangor Cup, also over 1 600m.
There is speed in his female line and his sire Count Dubois was a miler, but the latter has produced an SA Oaks winner and a Daily News 2000 winner in French Navy.
Edict Of Nantes
On running style Edict Of Nantes looks likely to stay the trip on this course and should be involved in the finish.
Elevated is out of sprinter by Spaceship but is by SA Derby winner Elusive Fort and on his Cape Guineas run, when widely drawn and staying on well from quite a handy position he should enjoy this trip. He should be right there from a good draw. Horizon impressed in the Gr 3 Politician Stakes over 1800m when relaxing well in the running, quickening well and staying on to the line.
He is likely improving being a Candice Bass-Robinsontrained son of Dynasty.
He is out of a sister to Silvano, so should relish the trip and is drawn in pole.
Australian-bred Zodiac Ruler was caught wide in the Gr 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas, so not surprisingly faded. He had earlier plugged on in the Lanzerac Ready To Run over 1 400m to finish midfield.
Zodiac Ruler was an impressive winner of the Gr 2 Golden Horseshoe at Greyville over 1 400m and also quickened well when second in the Gr 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1 600m.
His sire Zoffany has sired a Prix d’le Arc de Triomphe winner, Rail Link, but his damline is speedy and his dam is in fact a half-sister to the champion sprinter Laisserfaire. There must be a slight stamina doubt for this good looking, robust sort.
Australian-bred Newlands looked a touch unlucky last time out over 1 800m in the GR 3 Cartier Politician Stakes as he took a while to find a split and by the time he had done so Horizon had pinched a few lengths. He closed in late to be beaten at level weights by 1,25 lengths.
Newlands is by Epsom Derby winner High Chapparal and his dam, who won over 1 600m, is a half-sister to a Champion Two-year-old colt in Australia, Vancouver, who won the Gr 1 Golden Slipper.
Therefore his pedigree looks to be ideal for this course and distance.
A draw of six should be favourable for a slow starter who is likely to be held up.
KZN raider Winter Is Coming kept on finding extra in a Progress Plate over 1 400m on the Greyville poly last time to repel the much touted 104 merit rated Red Chesnut Road, although he was receiving 4kg and the latter was returning from an eight month layoff. He will relish the step up in trip on pedigree. Winter Is Coming is by Western Winter and is out of a half-sister to Sansui Summer Cup runner-up Deo Juvente, while his champion grandam Circle Of Life is a half-sister to J&B Met winner Zebra Crossing.
He is a laid back type, who likes to run from the front and a tongue tie helped him last time.
Ollivander is a rangy, long-striding sort who will be improving all the time. This is especially as he is a BassRobinson-trained son of Silvano. He stayed on to be beaten two lengths by stablemate Horizon in the Politician Stakes. However, he is now 3kg worse off with the latter and is drawn ten out of ten, so has it all to do.
Omaha Tribe is a staying type and off quite an exposed merit rating of 75 looks to be an optimistic entry.
Captain Gambler is a long-striding sort by Captain Al and is a half-sister to Liquid Mercury, who finished a 4,8 length third in the 2015 Cape Derby behind Ertijaal.
She stayed on from last in the Gr 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas for a 4,35 length eighth.
She then stayed on again for a 4,15 length seventh in the Listed Jamaica Handicap for fillies and mares over the Cape Derby 2 000m course and distance.
Captain Gambler will be getting 2,5kg from the boys, which is worth about two lengths in handicapping terms, and has scope. However, she was only running off a 91 merit rating in the Jamaica and will need to step up considerably.