Captain And Master full of class
THE Grade 1 Premiers Champions Stakes over 1 600m is one of the highlights of the second day of the Gold Cup Festival Of Racing weekend and will form an important part of the Pick 6, which has a guaranteed pool of R5,5 million and an expected pool of R6 million.
The race is full of class, but complicating matters is that a lot of the fancied runners have tough draws.
The best prospect in the race is likely Captain And Master, who has a magnificent stride and is full of class.
After the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1 400m, trainer Sean Tarry explained due to his lack of early speed he was strongly rousted from the off and this caused him to over race.
After S’Manga Khumalo had eventually restrained the big horse, he was second last.
All thing considered, he did exceptionally well to run on for third, beaten 1,3 lengths, using his big stride.
On the downside, he did go down to the start quite strongly that day, so it can’t be taken for granted he will settle on Sunday, especially as he has a tricky draw of nine.
Purple Diamond was the surprise winner of the Golden Horseshoe and will relish the step up in trip. Piere Strydom will help him overcome his draw of 12, which is compared to his two draw in the Golden Horseshoe.
The third of the Tarry runners is Warrior’s Rest, a huge son of What A Winter. His father was a champion sprinter, but he is out of Badger Land mare who has produced the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 winner Viva Maria and he looks to be crying out for this trip.
From a good draw this big, long-striding galloper makes appeal as the dark horse in a race which lacks pace as he should stay all the way to the line. Ancestry was dropped out from draw eight in the Golden Horseshoe before finding a good position on the rail.
He overtook Purple Diamond, but the latter rallied and got his nose back in front.
The Oratorio colt should should handle the step up in trip on pedigree.
Monks Hood was caught outside of Ancestry in the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes over 1 400m and finished only 0,75 lengths behind him.
This classy Querari colt, who was highly impressive on debut over 1 200m, has another wide draw to overcome, but he should enjoy the step up in trip and Anthony Delpech keeps the ride.
Borya was only a head behind Monks Hood in the Gatecrasher when drawn two and staying on well.
He followed up with an easy win over 1 400m on the poly and should enjoy this trip but he has a wide draw of 13 to overcome.
Cat’s Legacy over raced a little in the Gatecrasher behind a slow pace but followed up by running on well for third in the KZN Yearling Sale Million over 1 300m, where he gave the impression he could stay this 1 600m trip.
However, he has a wide draw and looks a sort who would appreciate a good pace.
Eyes Wide Open won his maiden over this trip at Scottsville in eye catching fashion and could be anything.
On debut over 1 400m at Scottsville, from which the form has worked out well, he was caught wide and was green around the turn and it was also clear in the straight that this galloping type would prefer further. Richard Fourie rides.
Chantyman was slow away and caught wide on debut when third in a weak maiden over 1 400m on the poly.
He then won from pillar to post by over seven lengths in a moderate 1 200m Maiden Juvenile Plate at Scottsville.
His dam, who won over a mile, has to date produced sprinters, so there is a stamina doubt despite him being by Oratorio and he also has a tough draw.
Mujallad improved to win comfortably over 1 400m last time and the form doesn’t look bad, so he could earn from a fair draw.
Leftrightgoodnight, who was well beaten by Mujallad, will appreciate the trip, but needs plenty of improvement.
Sea King was caught wide in the Gatecrasher when beaten 5,1 lengths and then followed up by winning a Juvenile Plate over 1 600m after being dropped out from a wide draw and coming from last.
He narrowly beat his more fancied stable companion Pack Leader, who was noticeably green and has scope for improvement.
Interestingly they both beat Eye’s Wide Open’s conqueror Cool At Heart, but the latter looked to race too strongly in front over the step up in trip. Sea King and Pack Leader both have good draws. The impressive looking galloper Leslie Shadowliner’s race was run in the Gatecrasher before the turn as he was caught hopelessly wide. However, he showed a fine turn of foot over 1 200m in his easy debut win.
On a combination of pedigree and racing style he should handle the trip from a good draw.
The Gatecrasher and Golden Horseshoe both look to be the best pointers, which brings Warrior’s Rest into it too as he was on top of the like of Naafer in the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion over a trip short of his best and the latter caught the eye in the Golden Horseshoe.
Captain And Master is selected to beat Monks Hood, Warrior’s Rest and Purple Diamond, but Ancestry, Leslie Shadowliner and Eyes Wide Open are the hardest of the others to ignore in a competitive event.