The Slade has it all to do

The Mercury - - THE RACEGOER -

DEAN KANNEMEYER holds a strong hand in the World Sports Bet­ting 1900, one of the ma­jor step­ping stones to this year’s Vo­da­com Dur­ban July, and both It’s My Turn and The Slade will have to put up their hands at Greyville to­mor­row if they are to be con­sid­ered for the fi­nal July field.

With none of to­mor­row’s run­ners in this Gr2 event as­sured of a July run, the race will be se­ri­ously com­pet­i­tive and there could be a few hard luck sto­ries come 3.20pm to­mor­row.

The Slade is rel­a­tively lightly raced and af­ter reel­ing off a hat-trick of wins cul­mi­nat­ing in a close-up sec­ond to the smart three-year-old Eyes Wide Open in the Gr2 Penin­sula Handicap to­wards the end of last sea­son he was be­ing touted as a pos­si­bly July win­ner.

How­ever, the Penin­sula was his last out­ing in the Cape Sum­mer and it was nearly four months later that he stepped out in the Sledge­ham­mer where he started favourite in the 1800m event.

But things didn’t quite go ac­cord­ing to plan. “I ex­pected more from him,” said Kannemeyer.

“But An­ton (Mar­cus) said they went very slow in the Sledge­ham­mer which didn’t suit him. But he has been a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing,” ad­mit­ted Kannemeyer.

That race was nearly a month back and The Slade should strip a lot fit­ter to­mor­row.

Sta­ble com­pan­ion It’s My Turn is fairly well weighted in the race and has his third out­ing for Kannemeyer.

“It’s My Turn has had two runs for me. He’s back from in­jury but is do­ing very well. He ran a great race in the King’s Cup be­cause he’s a bet­ter horse over 10 fur­longs, pos­si­bly even a mile­and-a-half.” Kea­gan de Melo has com­mit­ted to ride for Kannemeyer for Cham­pi­ons Sea­son so his choice of rides needs to be re­spected.

In­vestec Derby and Penin­sula win­ner Eyes Wide Open is a glar­ing omis­sion from the list of ini­tial en­tries for the Vo­da­com Dur­ban July but Pack Leader is from the same sta­ble and races in the same colours.

He was nearly two lengths clear of The Slade in the Sledge­ham­mer and was not far back in the Cape Clas­sics over the sum­mer.

Glen Kotzen was op­ti­mistic ear­lier in the week as say­ing, “He has had a great prepa­ra­tion. He ran on Met day and only had one 1000m grass gal­lop af­ter that be­fore go­ing into the Sledge­ham­mer.

“He was way off and ran much bet­ter than ex­pected. He was blow­ing hard af­ter­wards, but the jockey was not hard on him.

“Since then he has come on a hel­luva lot and has been work­ing twice as well.

“If he wins on Satur­day and is raised just a cou­ple of pounds his weight will be spot on for the July. I will be dis­ap­pointed if he is not in the first three and if we are happy the run has qual­i­fied him he will not have another race be­fore the July.”

The mare Fort Em­ber is the best rated run­ner in the race ac­cord­ing to merit rat­ings and she has an en­vi­able record at Greyville where she seems to “grow and ex­tra leg,” ac­cord­ing to Paul Pe­ter. Her re­cent poor show­ing in the Cham­pion’s Chal­lenge at Turf­fontein is best ig­nored as her pre­vi­ous form was solid.

Justin Snaith, speak­ing af­ter Oh Su­sanna had gal­loped at Greyville yes­ter­day morn­ing, was also fairly con­fi­dent of his run­ner’s chances,

“If Platinum Prince could con­tend over a mile like he did last time then he will be a big run­ner as that was way too short and he has come on a lot from the run and has been do­ing very well.

He needs a big run to qual­ify for the July but will have to be care­ful from that wide draw.

Elu­sive Silva is back and if his legs don’t give him trou­ble he should also be in con­tention.”

Snaith has plot­ted a slightly eas­ier route for African Night Sky who lines up in a Pin­na­cle Stakes event a halfhour later.

“He may need it a lit­tle but I am look­ing for a pos­i­tive run into the Cup Trial and ex­pect him to be in the money.” CANDICE BASS-ROBIN­SON has a favourite’s chance of win­ning all three two-year-old races at Ke­nil­worth to­mor­row and in two of them her prin­ci­pal hope is odds-on.

Aldo Domeyer, still on 99 af­ter un­ex­pect­edly draw­ing a blank here on Tues­day, should not have to wait long as he rides all three and Mixed Sig­nals stands out in the opener.

This filly was a to­tally ig­nored 45-1 chance when run­ning on well af­ter it was all over to take sec­ond to smart sta­ble com­pan­ion Santa Clara on de­but four weeks ago and should have come on enough. At World Sports Bet­ting’s 13-20 she is short enough though be­cause third-placed Trop­i­cal Hibis­cus has since let the form down in a big way.

That said, there is no ob­vi­ous dan­ger. The Vaughan Mar­shall new­comer African Di­a­mond (a R100 000 Rock Of Gibral­tar filly) at 4-1 is the only other quoted at less than 101. Sparkling Fire at 14-1 is a big price for a Rams­den twoyear-old.

Frozen Tune 40 min­utes later looks the weak­est link in the Bass-Robin­son tre­ble as he has been beaten four times al­ready – ad­mit­tedly sec­ond three times and third on the other oc­ca­sion – but the 16-10 chance has the best form.

Watch Me Dad (6-1) ran well first time de­spite los­ing ground at the start and looks a big threat while The Suit (1810) had Tues­day’s win­ner Mon­tego Bay a place be­hind when fourth last time and would be an ap­pro­pri­ate tip on Meghan Markle’s big day.

In race three Rus­set Air (like Mixed Sig­nals a Win­ning Ways horse to fol­low) stands out. He lost lengths at the start on de­but when third to sta­ble com­pan­ion Machi­avelli, fin­ish­ing in front of The Suit and Mon­tego Bay. The prob­lem is that he is quoted at 6-10 and is poor value at those odds. Maybe a few Rand on the Domeyer tre­ble would be a more at­trac­tive op­tion.

Of the op­po­si­tion Dy­na­mite Jack and Fa­mous Or­a­tor have shown abil­ity while, with his trainer in such blis­ter­ing two-year-old form, Ar­rived­erci’s 20-1 looks each way temp­ta­tion.

In the Bet­ting World Maiden Rocket Girl takes on older horses af­ter two good runs over the trip. She is favourite at 16-10 and looks good enough.

Two in-form 4kg claimers give 9-2 shots North­ern Cor­ner and Al Wa­hed strong claims in the Play Soc­cer 6 Handicap but the vote goes to Fire Walker (also 9-2). He has been raised five points for last time’s win but he won eas­ing up.

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