Ex­pect huge Pick 6 pools

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

THE coun­try is brac­ing it­self with in­creas­ing an­tic­i­pa­tion for the Gold Cup Fes­ti­val of Rac­ing week­end and the Pick 6 will be a bet many will take on both days, be­cause it has a guar­an­teed pool of R3,5 mil­lion on day one with an ex­pected pool of R4 mil­lion, and a guar­an­teed pool of R5,5 mil­lion on day two with an ex­pected pool of R6 mil­lion. On day one on Satur­day, the piv­otal Pick 6 leg will be the Grade 1 Cham­pi­ons Cup over 1 800m.

Three horses stand out, Cap­tain Amer­ica, Marinaresco and Bela-Bela, but oth­ers have to be con­sid­ered in a race which has pro­duced up­sets be­fore. Cap­tain Amer­ica fin­ished third in an ul­tra strong Grade 1 Sun Met over 2 000m, where he beat Marinaresco by 2,55 lengths.

He will have the ad­van­tage of run­ning fresh, but Marinaresco, who is de­fend­ing his crown, will now be 1,5kg bet­ter off.

The lat­ter come off his win in the Vo­da­com Dur­ban July, where he proved again his love of Greyville. He beat Cap­tain Amer­ica in the Drill Hall over 1 400m and his run in the Grade 1 Ris­ing Sun Gold Chal­lenge, where com­fort­ably beaten by Cap­tain Amer­ica, can be ig­nored as he was too handy in a fast run race. His wide draw of 12 will not be a prob­lem as he will be dropped out be­fore em­ploy­ing his ex­cep­tional turn of foot.

A draw of ten will not be ideal for the more handy Cap­tain Amer­ica, but he over­came that iden­ti­cal draw in the Gold Chal­lenge.

Bela-Bela will make her swan­song here. She has to re­verse a 1,5 length beat­ing by Cap­tain Amer­ica in the Gold Chal­lenge, but she had to be stead­ied at the top of the straight that day and could have got closer.

Two of her three Grade 1 wins have been over 1 800m and 2 000m re­spec­tively, but her ideal trip is a mile. Sail South came from last in the Gold Chal­lenge and was only beaten 2,5 lengths. He is now 2kg bet­ter off, runs fresh and will be hop­ing for a faster pace. How­ever, he is a horse who sel­dom set­tles and the trip will stretch him. Ju­di­cial fin­ished sec­ond in this race last year, and his trainer Ty­rone Zackey’s charges can never be writ­ten off in big races. He hasn’t run since Novem­ber, but has won a Grade 2 run­ning fresh be­fore and has a fair draw. Ta­ble Bay comes in rel­a­tively fresh and has a good draw.

He is highly re­garded and his mile form, which at one stage looked dis­ap­point­ing, now looks very strong.

He does have to prove he stays fur­ther than a mile though.

Ten Gun Salute

Ten Gun Salute looked to be beaten al­ready when a horse crossed him in the VDJ, but he looks likely to ap­pre­ci­ate the drop to this trip, hav­ing won the Bet­ting World 1900 in ex­cep­tional style.

He does have a tough task at the weights and is likely hop­ing for soft ground.

Deo Ju­vente beat the like Of Le­gal Ea­gle when win­ning the Pre­mier’s Cham­pi­ons Chal­lenge over 2 000m and now runs rel­a­tively fresh .

How­ever, he does have a tricky draw. It’s My Turn was beaten 1,4 lengths in the July and is now 4,5kg worse off with Marinaresco.

How­ever, a lot of use was made of him in the July from a wide draw and he was also given only one prepa­ra­tion out­ing go­ing into it. With more con­ser­va­tive tac­tics from a plum draw, he could be a threat.

Mata­dor Man showed how good his turn of foot when win­ning the KZN Breed­ers Mile and his re­laxed style might en­able him to see out this trip, over which he is un­ex­posed. Black Arthur ran wide in the July, but did have cover and other than hav­ing to be switched out­ward he had a trou­ble free run, so has a tough task at the weights. Brazuca also has a tough task on pa­per, but was caught wide in the July and might well en­joy the step down in trip. How­ever, he does have a tricky draw. The fi­nal fields for all of the other legs still have to be an­nounced. In the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2 000m on day the Sil­vano filly Nightin­gale is the stand out horse over an ideal course and dis­tance.

Girl On The Run

Girl On The Run, Bella Sonata, Star Ex­press, Pre­mier Dance and Epona also have chances and amaz­ingly are also all by Sil­vano.

The non-Sil­vano chal­lengers will be led by the un­ex­posed Wukkin Up, Fort Em­ber, Cap­tain Gam­bler, Witchcraft and In­ter­ga­lac­tic.

The first leg of the Pick 6 on day one is a MR 82 Hand­i­cap over 1 000m on the poly.

Paul Gadsby’s trio Vi­sion To Kill, Miss Var­li­cious and Gun­ner have all landed fair draws and are among the eye-catch­ers.

There should be a good pace in this race. with speedy sorts Swakopo­mund, Gee Whizz and Rocky Val­ley among the en­tries. Classy two-year-old Touch Of Magic is a fas­ci­nat­ing en­try.

The next race is the Listed Um­geni Hand­i­cap over 1 000m on the poly.

The Louis Goosen pair of fil­lies Ef­fort­less Re­ward and Hashtag Strat are im­me­di­ate eye catch­ers from good draws among a big en­try list and the up and com­ing Lloyd’s Legacy could be any­thing.

The Listed Dar­ley Ara­bian over 1600m on the poly has also at­tracted a lot of en­tries and among the eye catch­ers are last year’s win­ner MacDuff, the twice win­ner of this race, Night Trip as well as Ta­ble Bay, Ir­ish Pride, Celtic Cap­tain, Cop­per Pot, No Wor­ries and Ginger­bread Man. The last leg is a maiden over 1800m on the turf and Texas Sky and Turf Con­queror are two who catch the eye among a huge en­try list.

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