The Slade has it all to do
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.