KENILWORTH horse racing
‘Race of the Century’ seems over the top, until you look at the field
“It’s his first real test, but we’re confident he’s up to the task.”
So said Colin Gordon, racing manager for the late Chris Gerber, regarding Rainbow Bridge’s prospects in Saturday’s grade 2 Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth.
The Sporting Post bills it the “Race Of The Century” — a bit far-fetched, but this six-horse field simply oozes quality with Sean Tarry’s champion Legal Eagle bidding to win the 1,600m contest three times in a row.
But the Rainbow Bridge camp clearly feels the younger horse can topple Legal Eagle, who is now seven and has had to travel to the Cape.
Although Rainbow Bridge is unbeaten in five starts, Saturd ay’s race is a different kettle of fish to taking on the likes of Silver Maple, who the four-yearold defeated in November.
The betting market suggests we have a two-horse race on our hands, yet that is far from the case as the line-up also includes last season’s Vodacom July winner Do It Again and Brett Crawford’s talented Captain Al colt, Undercover Agent.
The sponsors, World Sports Betting, are offering 13-8 for Do It Again to finish in the first three, a possibility — as Justin Snaith commented on Tellytrack in November, the July hero was “jumping out of his skin”.
It also counts in Do It Again’s favour that his pilot is Richard Fourie, who is riding the crest of a wave and will produce his mount at just the right time.
The field is made up by Do It Ag a i n ’s stablemate Copper Force and Hat Puntano who has been transferred from the Azzie stable to that of Joe Ramsden.
The bookies will be praying that one of this duo wins — it seems as unlikely as a resolution to the Brexit situation.
Fourie has a chance of landing a feature double as his mount, Strathdon, will be one of the leading fancies for the grade 3 Cape Summer Stayers Handicap over 2,500m.
A five-year-old son of Silvano, Strathdon will be sharper for a recent outing over 2,000m and may have most to fear from Lyle Hewitson’s mount, Gimme One Night, and another of Silvano’s progeny, Ollivander.
The Vaal hosts its third meeting of the week on Saturday with a match race between Tsitsikamma Dance and Dan The Lad with the winner pocketing R250,000. To be honest, this 1,475m race hardly gets the pulses racing and the most likely outcome is a win for Ashley Fortune’s Tsitsikamma Dance.
A better race is the second, in which Palace Chapel, Old Man Tyme and Oravar have winning chances. Gavin Lerena won on Old Man Tyme over this course and distance in November, but it looks significant that he stays with another three-year-old he has won on, Palace Chapel.
Mike and Adam Azzie will fancy turning the tables on Palace Chapel as their representative, the year-older Oravar, is 4kg better off compared to their clash three weeks ago.
Whatever her fate in the match race, Ashley Fortune will fancy her chances of winning the sixth race with her consistent five-year-old, Verdier.
Bred at Varsfontein Stud, the Var gelding has paid his way this year and looks ready for a third career win. The swinger with Luke Ferraris’ mount Big Voice Jack could be a good wager in this race.
In the eighth race, Fortune runs another useful sort in Mount Keith who has a shout of toppling the likely favourite, State Trooper.