Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

No surprise if trainer Ashley Fortune gets little sleep tonight. Still in the infancy of her career, the 38-year-old is poised for her biggest success if her three-year-old, Invidia, wins Saturday’s R2.5m CTS Ready-To-Run Stakes at Kenilworth.

Bookmakers have no doubt that Invidia is the horse to beat in the 1,400m race, and Lance Michael quotes the son of Twice Over as the 2-1 market leader.

A huge factor in the favourite’s favour is that Anton Marcus will be in the saddle. He partnered his mount into second place behind Capoeira in a race at Kenilworth on November 23.

While Marcus will respect what Fortune’s husband, Andrew, achieved during his career as a jockey, he would not have accepted the ride on Invidia unless he thought the horse could win.

He won this race 12 months ago and will be fully aware that, thanks to Cape Thoroughbred Sales, he will receive a far bigger cheque by winning the race than if he captures the WSB Cape Fillies Guineas on Kelpie.

Harare-born Fortune’s first graded stakes winner came in May 2018 when her stepson, Aldo Domeyer, won the grade 3 Gold Bowl on Let It Rain.

Ironically, it is Domeyer who could spoil the party for the Fortune family. Sean Tarry has booked him for Rock The Globe (17-2), and the three-year-old has the highest merit-rating (106) in the field.

Second favourite for this race, with a first prize of R1.25m, is Justin Snaith’s runner Rio Querari, the mount of Richard Fourie. He is well drawn in stall six and is a 9-2 chance in ante-post betting.

With Hawwaam scratched, Marcus does not have a ride in the R350,000 Green Point Stakes and this grade 2 contest is now a four-cornered affair between Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again, Sun Met victor Rainbow Bridge, One World and Adam Marcus’s top performer, Vardy.

With the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate as the principal target of this quartet, this is probably a race to watch rather than bet on too heavily. Vardy might be the surprise package and the recommendation is to rove Craig Zackey’s mount in the exacta with Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge and One World.

Trainer Vaughan Marshall has done a great job with One World but he will be aware his runner has a merit-rating of 127 compared with the 136 of Do It Again and 134 of Rainbow Bridge. However, he will receive a kilogram from the two grade 1 winners.

Several of the fancied runners in the Cape Fillies Guineas have wide draws to overcome. They include Third Runway, Cockney Pride and Pretty Young Thing.

Provided she has not been affected by the long road haul to the Cape, recent Magnolia Handicap winner, True To Life, should go close in the hands of Gavin Lerena. Marcus’s mount, Kelpie, has drawn a middle gate and seems well fancied while Larentina, jumping from pole position, appeals as the best outsider.

It is certainly a fascinating day’s racing as the Cape season moves into top gear. Fortune will be hoping to crack open the champagne on Saturday night.

FEATURE RACE SELECTIONS

GREEN POINT STAKES

  1. Vardy
  2. Rainbow Bridge
  3. Do It Again
  4. One World

CTS READY-TO-RUN STAKES

  1. Invidia
  2. Rock The Globe
  3. Rio Querari
  4. On My Mind

CAPE FILLIES GUINEAS

  1. True To Life
  2. Kelpie
  3. Larentina
  4. Driving Miss Daisy

BIG RACE BETTING

(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

GREEN POINT STAKES

15-10 Do It Again

22-10 Rainbow Bridge

4-1 One World, Vardy

8-1 Undercover Agent

20-1 Head Honcho

50-1 Pack Leader

66-1 La Favourari

CAPE FILLIES GUINEAS

4-1 Kelpie, True To Life

7-1 Third Runway

8-1 Pretty Young Thing, Cockney Pride

10-1 Driving Miss Daisy

12-1 Others