D-day for Sun Met declaration
NOBODY will be studying the sahorseracing website in the run-up to today’s 11am Sun Met declaration deadline more closely than Billy Prestage as he debates whether to run last season’s Premier Trophy winner Milton.
He said: “I am not stupid enough to think he can win (Milton is a 100-1 shot) but I want to see what my chances are of finishing in the first ten, and of getting my money back before I put mine down. I reckon there will be about 15 runners but I would like to see a few more come out.”
It costs a Vat-inclusive R46 000 to declare with stakes being paid up to tenth place – R50 000 for those finishing sixth to tenth.
Prestage adds that it is 43 years since he last had a runner in the great race.
“I owned Foreign Agent. Syd Laird trained him when he was third to Sledgehammer in 1975 and my father, Robert, was the trainer the following year when he was fourth to Gatecrasher.”
No current trainer has won the Met more times than Brett Crawford, the first of whose three wins came with Angus 16 years ago, and he reports Undercover Agent in great shape.
He said: “Undercover Agent came out of his Queen’s Plate run well but the trip is a question mark.”
No such doubts about Eyes Wide Open who beat Do It Again when winning last year’s Cape Derby and Glen Kotzen points out that the four-year-old is much better than his disappointing Peninsula Handicap sixth would suggest, even allowing for top weight. The horse was promptly marked out to 33-1.
The Woodhill trainer said: “Gavin Lerena was caught three wide – the local jocks wouldn’t let him in – and then he got bumped and was knocked out to five wide. Gavin apologised for the ride when he got off but promptly added that he would like to ride the horse in the Met.”