Do It Again has big shoes to fill in Sun Met
Do It Again will bid to follow in the footsteps of equine greats Politician, London News and Pocket Power by winning the Durban July and, six months later, the Sun Met in Cape Town.
Politician won the 1978 July and 1979 Met, London News the 1996 July and 1997 Met and Pocket Power took the 2008 July and 2009 Met.
Trainer Mike Bass’s champion also won the famous Cape race in 2007 and 2008.
Following his excellent third in last weekend’s Green Point Stakes when beaten only two short-heads by Legal Eagle and Undercover Agent, it is little wonder that bookmaker Lance Michael has Do It Again as the clear 7-2 second favourite for the Met on January 26.
Rainbow Bridge, who got going late to join in the four-horse finish to the Green Point, is quoted favourite at 3-1.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who was Pocket Power’s regular jockey during his illustrious career, has received criticism on social media for his performance on Rainbow Bridge in last Saturday’s race.
While Fayd’Herbe has been in the top flight of jockeys for more years than he probably cares to remember, a point in his defence is that Eric Sands’s four-year-old is still learning to race — this was only the sixth start of his career — and was hard to settle in the 1,600m race.
The colt’s owner, the late Chris Gerber, would simply have taken the defeat on the chin, but many punters lost their money on a horse labelled as the new superstar and expected to end the reign of Sean Tarry’s champion Legal Eagle.
Trainer Brett Crawford will be more than happy with Undercover Agent’s second place in Saturday’s race and his versatile performer is quoted as third favourite for the Met at 8-1.
Hawwaam, the Dingaan’s winner, will not be in the line-up for Saturday’s Cape Guineas and is 10-1 for the Sun Met with stablemate Buffalo Bill Cody and Justin Snaith’s star filly Oh Susanna. This column’s view is that Oh Susanna probably is not as class a female act as another Met winner, Empress Club (not yet anyway), and is likely to find her male rivals Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge too good if she makes the final line-up.
Gavin Lerena had four winners at Turffontein on Tuesday and he should add to his tally in the third race at the Vaal on Thursday.
Trainer Ormond Ferraris has booked Lerena for Blossom, who finished a close-up third on her debut at Turffontein in October.
In the sixth race Lerena teams up with Roy Magner’s Royal Cavalier, who is a speedy sort and is making his handicap debut. Bookies may fancy their chances of beating Royal Cavalier as the gelding has top weight of 60kg, and Piere Strydom might prove a tough rival on Seventh Son, who receives 6kg.
Lerena’s St John Gray’s filly may start favourite in the seventh race. The one worry is that she has had a busy season and there are a number of useful opponents, including Kings Archer, Just As I Said, Life Is Good and Talktothestars.
Just As I Said, formerly trained by Lucky Houdalakis, makes his debut for Ashley Fortune and will have his supporters following his fourth placing behind Legal Eagle.