KZN Falcons fancied in Rider Cup
THE Rider Cup interprovincial jockeys competition takes centre stage this weekend at Scottsville. The KZN Falcons team of Anthony Delpech, Anton Marcus, Alec Forbes and Warren Kennedy look to hold the trump cards, so they could make it two out of two having won the inaugural event last year.
The first leg is a Maiden over 1 200m and KZN look particularly strong here.
Biometric jumped awkwardly and was then green on debut when beaten six lengths on the Greyville poly over this trip and the form has worked out quite well to date.
He is by Judpot and is a half-brother to useful sorts like Control Freak and Greys Inn Control.
He should show considerable improvement and could be the one to beat under Forbes if jumping on terms.
Asian Star should also go close under Marcus. The form of his penultimate start over course and distance has worked out well and last time, also over course and distance, he showed good pace and when switched out from behind runners ran on well. The form of that race looks fair in the context of this event.
His Mark Dixon-trained stablemate Edge Of Glory was not disgraced in his penultimate start over 1 000m at Kenilworth and his KZN debut over 1 000m at Scottsville confirmed he would probably enjoy the step up to 1 200m as he stayed on without being punished.
He is a full-brother to a horse who won five times from 1 2001600m and he should be right there under MJ Byleveld (Cape Eagles) in this uninspiring field.
Strong ‘N Brave showed good pace with first time blinkers on over this trip on the poly and finished fifth.
He beat Luckdragon by seven lengths and the latter, who is a battling maiden, had earlier finished second to the promising Leslie Shadowliner when leading and staying on over 1 200m on the Greyville turf.
Therefore, Strong ‘N Brave must have a chance under Delpech in a race of this quality.
First Mate showed good pace second time out over 1 000m before being outgunned in the final stages and finishing fifth. However, on pedigree he should enjoy the step up in trip and has possibilities under Kennedy.
Luckdragon, who is ridden by Gavin Lerena (Highveld Hawks), might appreciate being back on a turf surface and can’t be ignored.
Ku Du Tu, a Jay Peg gelding, is an interesting two-year-old debutant as he is a half-brother to a Windrush colt who won on debut over this trip and reached a merit rating of 90 after further placed runs behind good horses.
He will be ridden by Greg Cheyne (Cape). The other first-timer Hard To Play is a two-year-old colt by Curved Ball out of a Kahal mare who has produced two moderate winners and will be ridden by Craig Zackey (Highveld).
Bluemoonrising, ridden by Marco van Rensburg (Highveld), made a fair debut and is another to consider.
Marcus also has a good ride in the second leg on the two-yearold Dynasty colt Eyes Wide Open, who was caught wide on debut over 1 400m at Scottsville but still stayed on for third.
He will appreciate the step up in trip to 1 600m in this maiden event and has a fair draw of six.
However, he could be given a good run by another two-year-old, Visionaire colt Volcanic Sunset, who has some decent 1 200m form and on pedigree will appreciate the step up in trip. Richard Fourie (Cape) rides him from a plum draw of two. River Garden has finished second in all three of his starts to date, all at Scottsville from 1 200m to 1 600m, and will have a chance here from draw eight under Corne Orffer (Cape).
Lucky At Last was green on debut from a wide draw on the poly over 1 400m but stayed on well and looks to have scope, so he has a chance under Delpech over a step up in trip he will enjoy.
Time Travel made a fair KZN debut on the poly and could also earn here under Forbes.
St Peters Bay has run a fair race over course and distance before and could also earn points under Zackey.
The third leg is a 1 200m MR 82 Handicap and once again KZN look to have a good hand.
Roy’s Air Force
Rock Of Africa (Marcus) and Roy’s Air Force (Delpech) should be right there.
However, the Shane Humby pair Midnight Vision (Zackey) and Waywood (S’Manga Khumalo (Highveld) bring some fine Kenilworth form and off mere 72 merit ratings they have fine chances returning from layoffs over trips short of their best. Out My Way (Fourie) and Bengal Boy (Van Rensburg) could also earn points.
In the last leg Marcus has another good ride on the talented Princess Analia in the MR 66 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 200m. Online (Van Rensburg) has a good chance too and others who make most appeal are Russian Girl (Zackey), Storm Kitten (Cheyne), Le Suerte De Matar (Byleveld) and Royal Kaitrina (Fourie).
The points earned for each race are 1st 20, 2nd 16, 3rd 14, 4th 12, 5th 10 and 6th 8.