D-day for Sun Met dec­la­ra­tion

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - RACING - MICHAEL CLOWER

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.”

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