BRETT Crawford will attempt to make it five Grade 1s for the season on Saturday at Greyville when the mellowed six-year-old gelding Captain America revisits a course which was thought to not suit him as a headstrong three-year-old colt. However, he will be facing a top class field in the Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1 600m.
Captain America’s class was shown early in his career, but a headstrong tendency soon became evident. He needs to employ handy to front-running tactics at the highest level because he does not possess an instant turn of foot. Gelding and maturity have seen him able to settle nicely in front and he has developed into a dangerous front-runner. The big six-year-old is thus back in KZN for the first time for three years. Against him is a high draw and he will need to jump better than he did in the recent Drill Hall Stakes.
Marinaresco clearly loves Greyville and the key is his exceptional turn of foot. He would prefer further than a mile, but proved his effectiveness over shorter when winning the Drill Hall Stakes. He has a plum draw on Saturday.
Trip To Heaven is another horse with an exceptional turn of foot. A mile stretches him, but he showed in this race last year his class can carry him to the line as he only lost the race in the boardroom.
The versatile Bela-Bela has been unplaced in both her starts against the boys, but those were in the July and the Met and it will be interesting to see whether the coupling of her speed and class makes her more effective against them over this trip.
Brazuca finished a narrow second to subsequent Cape Guineas winner Noah From Goa in the Dingaans two years ago, so is a candidate here from a good draw.
His stablemate New Predator was fourth in this race last year, two lengths behind French Navy and the latter beat him by 1,7 lengths in this year’s Grade 1 weight for age Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1 600m at Turffontein. New Predator has been top drawer over 1 400m and might now begin seeing out 1 600m better at a course which suits him, so he can’t be ignored, although his wide draw makes it tough.
French Navy is coming off an identical program to last year and his performances have been similar, so he can place again, although his last win was in January 2016.
Dual Guineas winner Janoobi is the only three-year-old contestant and has proven himself a dangerous front-runner. The form of his Daisy Guineas win at this track is suspect, but the form of his Gauteng Guineas win is strong. His pole position draw helped his front-running style in the Daisy Guineas, but he now has a wide draw.
Sail South is much improved this season as he has settled better than in the past and he finished third in the Queen’s Plate, beaten 0,75 lengths by Captain America and he was 0,3 lengths ahead of Marinaresco.
He has a tricky draw but Richard Fourie up is a bonus. It will likely be a July preparation run for dual Gr 1 Sansui Summer Cup winner Master Sabina, who would prefer further. However, he is drawn in pole and it’s a first run for a new yard, so this classy sort can’t be ignored.
Bulleting Home quickened away from the field in the Kings Cup and then finished fifth in the Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint. However, it will be tougher here at Grade 1 weight for age level. Saratoga Dancer has a fine turn of foot and loves Greyville.
He showed he is effective over shorter distances when third in the Drill Hall, beaten a head by Marinaresco, with whom he is now 2kg worse off.
Deo Juvente was 0,8 lengths behind New Predator in the Charity Mile when giving the latter 0,5kg and he was a neck behind Saratoga Dancer in that race when giving the latter 1,5kg. His surprise win in the Gr 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge constituted an improved performance over 2 000m, so if he does the same over this trip he is a contender.
Victorious Jay won a mile race in good style on Met day and then finished a head second in the Drill Hall, so has come into his own. However, he will be 2kg worse off with Marinaresco from the Drill Hall and has a wide draw to overcome.
Reserve runner The Conglomerate is the Vodacom Durban July champion, but in this weight for age event looks well held on recent form. Reserve runner No Worries is an enigmatic customer who has matched the best on a couple of occasions, but he is held on recent form.
Reserve runner Table Bay is much vaunted and none of the three three-yearolds who have beaten him over a mile this season are present here.