White River may resort to toothy bad-mouthing
Some medicines come with a health warning and perhaps one should be issued for White River, a runner in Saturday’s R1m Forus Cape Guineas at Kenilworth.
His opponents should be warned: "might bite".
In the recent Selangor Cup, White River tried to bite Rocket Countdown on his rear quarters as Candice Bass-Robinson’s three-year-old got the better of him in the closing stages.
White River — a member of Brett Crawford’s powerful stable — has a clear chance of taking top honours in Saturday’s grade1 race particularly as the favourite Tap O’North is drawn close to the nearby highway.
The majority of the big stables are represented in this important race with this season’s leading trainer Justin Snaith sending out a trio of runners headed by Do It Again who has found support in the ante-post market.
Perhaps Do It Again will be better suited to the 2,000m of January’s Investec Derby, but he should be doing his best work late and could be a lucrative swinger bet with White River.
It is in Do It Again’s favour that he will have Bernard Fayd’Herbe in the saddle as the jockey has been in outstanding form lately and claimed victory in the recent Fillies Guineas on the favourite, Snowdance.
Tap O’North is bidding to give trainer Vaughan Marshall a remarkable fifth win in this race. The former KwaZulu-Natal conditioner won with Sea Warrior (1986), Face North (1990), Captain Al (2000) and William Longsword in 2016.
In interviews this week, Marshall said a wide draw is not the "kiss of death", pointing to the fact that William Longsword overcame a wide barrier 12 months ago as did Captain Al when he won the race.
Bass-Robinson will be expecting another big effort from Rocket Countdown while White River’s stablemate Bold Respect will also have his supporters with Corne Orffer booked for the ride.
Piere Strydom won a race for trainer Sean Tarry on Tuesday night and the combination team up with Wonderwall who could possibly be the surprise package in the race if he returns to form.
The champion trainer also saddles Purple Diamond (Lyle Hewitson) and the same remark applies to him as he won a grade1 race at the Greyville track last season.
Gavin Lerena is another top highveld jockey making the trip to the Cape and he will partner Sir David Baird for many-times champion trainer Mike de Kock.
He may battle against the likes of White River, Do It Again and Tap O’North but could earn a place cheque.
Sir Frenchie (Callan Murray) and Cot Campbell (Grant van Niekerk) are the two other runners from Snaith’s yard, but Do It Again is probably the stable elect.
The final vote goes to White River to get the better of Do It Again, Tap O’North and Wonderwall with a memorable finish on the cards.
There are three other feature races on the Kenilworth card on Saturday and another Snaith inmate, Strathdon, makes plenty of appeal in the Summer Stayers Handicap. Nevertheless, he will have to be at the top of his game with Cape Speed and Mr Winsome in the field.
Bass-Robinson’s top mare, Nightingale, might be sent off favourite for the Victress Stakes in which both Goodtime Gal and Lady Of The House will make life tough for last season’s Majorca Stakes winner.
Jackpot and Pick 6 punters need to include a number of runners in their permutations.
Bass-Robinson sends out Horizon in the Premier’s Trophy and his performance will be closely monitored as the four-year-old has been backed this week to win the Sun Met on January 27.