Rain­bow Bridge to show his colours

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PROPERTY360 AUCTIONS - MICHAEL CLOWER

ALL EYES will be on Rain­bow Bridge at Ke­nil­worth to­day when the ex­cit­ing four-yearold bids to make it five in a row in the Cape Mile in what could well prove to be emo­tional cir­cum­stances.

This geld­ing could turn out to be the best horse the late Chris Ger­ber ever had and the noted owner­breeder’s tragic death from malaria adds a sad poignancy to the oc­ca­sion.

The bet­ting – he had short­ened still fur­ther to 9-20 with World Sports Bet­ting yes­ter­day morn­ing – sug­gests Rain­bow Bridge is a good thing de­spite merit rat­ings in­di­cat­ing the com­plete op­po­site.

No less than six of the ten up against Bernard Fayd’Herbe’s mount should beat him ac­cord­ing to the hand­i­cap­pers’ as­sess­ments.

But his prepa­ra­tion has gone smoothly in marked con­trast to that of the Matchem whose build-up turned into a trainer’s night­mare.

“I had gal­lops planned and then there were all those can­cel­la­tions,” Eric Sands re­calls.

“We ended up with a month when we couldn’t gal­lop at all. I had to force him on the sand tracks at home - and he went into the race with only half a gal­lop, and need­ing an­other.”

Yet the geld­ing was able to pro­duce a truly devastating fi­nal burst, the like of which is not seen that of­ten on a race­course.

“Af­ter­wards he was off for a week with a snotty nose,” re­lates his trainer.

“How­ever he has done very well since and, while I don’t want him at his peak yet, he has come on.”

Asked about what he sees as the dan­gers, Sands sin­gles out not a horse but “traf­fic.”

Ad­justed merit rat­ings put the Cape Derby win­ner Eyes Wide Open (8-1) and 9-1 shot Fifty Cents on top, six points clear of the favourite.

But the for­mer has been off for three and a half months and Craig Zackey’s mount was beaten over two lengths in the Matchem and is half a kilo worse.

So is 15-1 chance Cop­per Force who has three and a half lengths to find on that last run.

Hori­zon (25-1) was beaten seven lengths (ad­mit­tedly he was slowly away) and needs fur­ther.

A New Dawn (33-1) has been off since May but watch out for Sil­ver Maple. This ex-May­fair horse came to Justin Snaith from Ge­off Woodruff and has won three out of four. The 9-1 chance gets in with a feather weight and could prove the big­gest threat. That leaves only the four that the hand­i­cap­pers say should not beat the favourite.

Rocket Count­down, The Slade and Plat­inum Prince are all hav­ing their first race of the sea­son while Man About Town is the 50-1 out­sider of the party.

In the Lais­ser­faire 5-2 favourite Mag­i­cal Won­der­land has been off since May and has been given a steeplechas­ing bur­den.

For­get about the race’s grand­sound­ing name and its Listed sta­tus - this is a glo­ri­fied hand­i­cap – and bet­ter value can be found fur­ther down the field.

The Bos­ton Rose may be 1.5kg un­der suf­fer­ance but she keeps win­ning.

She has proved prof­itable for this col­umn and she can do it again al­though it is hard to be­lieve that the present 45-1 will still be avail­able on Sun­day.

Ryan Munger is rid­ing out of his skin and he may take the Woolav­ing­ton on Set­tlers run­nerup Bal­lad Of The Sea. Sta­ble com­pan­ion Ol­li­van­der looks the main dan­ger.

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