Gate now open for Snaith to take top honours in Cape Derby
Withdrawal of the favourite, Kommetdieding, will leave the colt’s fans and bookmakers disappointed
The shock scratching on Thursday of Kommetdieding — hot favourite for Saturday’s Jonnson Workwear Cape Derby at Kenilworth — has left the door open for Justin Snaith’s progressive three-year-old The Gatekeeper. ’
The withdrawal — due to a leg issue — will disappoint both the colt’s fans and bookmakers who would have been eager to take on the favourite in the betting market. The Gatekeeper has been priced at 15-10.
Snaith’s opinion is often lapped up by the media, but his latest offering about Saturday’s meeting can only be described as baloney. He suggested in the Sporting Post that — in time — the Cape Derby meeting could rival the Queen’s Plate and Met.
It is understandable that this season’s leading trainer might want to give the race, which is sponsored by one of his chief patrons, a little spin. But Snaith surely realises the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is an internationally acclaimed event and the Met is the Cape’s most famous race steeped in history.
Snaith can extend his lead in the trainers log with The Gatekeeper, a full brother to 2014 horse-of-the-year Legislate. It is the colt’s third run after a rest, he boasts a win over grade 1 winner Golden Ducat and was drawn on the nearby highway when fifth behind Russian Rock in the Guineas.
Rascallion may fare best of Vaughan Marshall’s duo and Anton Marcus rides him for the second time. He was in the saddle when finishing nearly three lengths behind Kommetdieding in the Politician Stakes.
Interestingly, Russian Rock, 100-1 winner of the Cape Guineas, also finished three lengths behind Kommetdieding when they clashed in December so another grade 1 success remains a possibility.
Whatever his fate on Linebacker, Grant van Niekerk is sure to fancy his chances of winning the Diadem Stakes on Rio Querari. If the four-year-old — never further back than second in his last five outings — reproduces his effort behind Run Fox Run in the Cape Flying Championship he should take the first cheque.
Candice Bass-Robinson’s five-year-old mare Clouds Unfold has bumped two talented sorts in Captain’s Ransom and Queen Supreme in her past two starts but should pick up the winning thread in the grade 3 Vasco Prix Du Cap.
This is a much easier task for Clouds Unfold and the mare can beat home Sleeping Single and Geoff Woodruff’s improving three-year-old Maledimo.
If a punter catches the quartet in the SA Bloodstock Cup, he or she will be looking at big money. Ashley Fortune and Aldo Domeyer captured the 2020 CTS Cup and their highveld raider Take Control has been priced up co-favourite.
There is an eye-catching jockey booking of Anton Marcus for Sean Tarry’s runner Mounia, who made a pleasing debut at Kenilworth in January.
Mounia is a daughter of new sire Rafeef and it would be a timely win for breeders sending his progeny to Sunday’s sale at the Mistico Equestrian Centre and the CTS Premier Yearling Sale at De Grendel wine estate on March 14.
At his price of 10-1, Rod The Mod, a son of Var, appeals as a solid each-way chance for the Paul Reeves stable.
1 (5) The Gatekeeper
2 (4) Rascallion
3 (2) Russian Rock
4 (3) Linebacker
1 (3) Rio Querari
2 (2) Kasimir
3 (1) Russet Air
4 (5) Cartel Captain
PRIX DU CAP
1 (1) Clouds Unfold
2 (4) Sleeping Single
3 (14) Maledimo
4 (10) Zarina
NEW TURF CARRIERS
1 (9) Sing Out Loud
2 (11) Captain Flinders
3 (2) Doublemint
4 (4) African Night Sky
SA BLOODSTOCK CUP
1 (5) Rod The Mod
2 (13) Mounia
3 (15) Take Control
4 (4) Master Of Time
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