The Star Early Edition

Save The Rhino ripe for the trip

- DAVID THISELTON

THE Listed Java Hand­i­cap over 2 400m on the Vaal Clas­sic track is the head­liner to­mor­row and Save The Rhino could be the one to beat un­der na­tional cham­pion jockey An­thony Delpech.

Or­mond Fer­raris is an out­stand­ing trainer of stay­ers and has given Save The Rhino three runs over 2 600m go­ing into this race, so he should be su­per fit and every­thing is in his favour.

The six-year-old Mo­gok geld­ing, run­ning off an 84 merit rat­ing to­mor­row, is well treated on his best form and jumps from pole po­si­tion.

He fin­ished a 0,8 length sec­ond in the Listed Aqua­naut Hand­i­cap over 2 450m in March off an 85 merit rat­ing and is now bet­ter drawn.

He stayed on nicely last time out over the Turf­fontein In­side track 2 600m.

How­ever, he be­came one-paced in the fi­nal stages of that race, so looks likely to pre­fer the 200m shorter trip to­mor­row and should be cherry ripe.

Let It Rain

Weiho Mar­wing’s charges al­ways have to be reck­oned with in stay­ing fea­tures and he has a chance with the sec­ond top weight Let It Rain. This Dy­nasty geld­ing stays all day and had a good pipe opener when set­ting the pace over 1 950m on Oc­to­ber 21, which was his first start since fin­ish­ing third in the Gold Cup.

His draw of 17 shouldn’t be a worry con­sid­er­ing he jumped from draw 15 out of 16 in the Gold Cup.

He has re­mained on the same 92 merit rat­ing as in his Gold Cup run.

How­ever, he was beaten 0,7 lengths by Save THe Rhino in the Aqua­naut Hand­i­cap and is now a whop­ping 7,5kg worse off.

Ki­naan is an­other who is well treated on his best form.

On his day he is a res­o­lute gal­loper and mae­stro trainer Mike de Kock is in fine form, so should have the son of Galileo ready to fire in his sec­ond run of the sea­son. Hyaku is a most in­ter­est­ing run­ner. In his only race over this trip he was stay­ing on well for a close up fourth in the Lons­dale Stir­rup Cup and is now off the same merit rat­ing.

He has been cam­paign­ing out of Sean Tarry’s Sum­merveld yard, so trav­el­ling up to alti­tude might be a slight con­cern for some.

How­ever, it should be borne in mind Sum­merveld is not on the coast and is ac­tu­ally a third of the alti­tude of the Highveld.

The Elmo Ef­fect will have to defy top­weight of 60kg in or­der to re­tain his crown.

This six-year-old Ad­mire Main geld­ing proved his class last time when beat­ing a use­ful field in a MR90 Hand­i­cap over 1 800m at Turf­fontein, al­though a lot of the beaten horses were un­lucky due to the hang­ing an­tics of the run­ner up Hid­den Agenda. \

Last year The Elmo Ef­fect won this race, which was run over 2 450m on Turf­fontein Stand­side, off a merit rat­ing of 82 and car­ried only 54kg.

He also has a tough task when con­sid­er­ing March’s Listed Aqua­naut Hand­i­cap, as he is 4,5kg worse off with Save The Rhino de­spite hav­ing lost to him by 3,3 lengths.

How­ever, the Aqua­naut was run in yield­ing go­ing and The Elmo Ef­fect prefers faster ground.

He also has Gavin Ler­ena aboard, so this longstrid­ing six-year-old Ad­mire Main geld­ing can’t be dis­counted.

Royal Hon­our was the win­ner of the Aqua­naut Hand­i­cap and is 7kg worse off with Save The Rhino for a mere 0,8 length beat­ing. How­ever, his record over 2 400-2 450m is three wins, one sec­ond and a third, so he has to be a con­tender un­der in-form Gun­ther Wro­ge­mann.

St. John Gray

St. John Gray is in good form and Dawn As­sault showed his lik­ing for stay­ing events last time when winning a Pin­na­cle Stakes event over 2 600m.

How­ever, he was raised five points and will be 3kg worse off with Save The Rhino for a 2,8 length beat­ing.

Like any stay­ing event The Java Hand­i­cap is wide open and in­clud­ing the whole field would be the only way to en­sure get­ting through the ex­otics.

How­ever, the horses men­tioned above are the ones which make most ap­peal.

The sec­ond race, a Progress Plate over 2 000m, will be full of in­ter­est as it is a po­ten­tially im­por­tant qual­i­fier for the San­sui Sum­mer Cup. The SA Oaks win­ner Wind Chill is of­fi­cially weighted to romp home and to show just how se­ri­ously May­fair Spec­u­la­tors are tak­ing this race An­ton Mar­cus will fly up for just this one ride.

How­ever, El­e­vated, is surely bet­ter than an 88 merit rat­ing, con­sid­er­ing his fourth place fin­ish in last sea­son’s Grade 1 Cape Guineas, and with the Mike de Kock yard in fly­ing form he is se­lected to beat Wind Chill.

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