Queen's Plate winner Jet Dark under close scrutiny in Champions Cup
Jockey Richard Fourie confirmed to ride Snaith’s three-year-old in Greyville race
Justin Snaith’s three-year-old Jet Dark will be in the spotlight in the Champions Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville on July 31 in a race that will determine whether his Queen's Plate win was a flash in the pan.
Jet Dark has had only one start since his Kenilworth triumph where he finished three lengths behind Rainbow Bridge in the Champions Challenge in June.
The son of Trippi has a merit rating of 126, four below that of Rainbow Bridge who failed to run a place in the recent Vodacom Durban July.
Richard Fourie has already been confirmed as the rider of Jet Dark, while S’manga Khumalo will ride Aussie-bred Crown Towers.
Dual July winner Do It Again encountered traffic problems in the Greyville race, so his fourth-place finish — beaten under two lengths by Kommetdieding — can be rated as a good effort. It is no surprise that Jet Dark’s stablemate has been priced up second favourite.
Bookies were relieved to beat the favourite Got The Greenlight in the July and he is the ante-post favourite to recoup those losses in the grade 1 race. It seems certain Muzi Yeni will be in the saddle once again.
Interestingly, trainer Vaughan Marshall has decided not to run both July runner-up Linebacker and fifth-placed Rascallion. Instead, his stable will be represented by Seeking The Stars.
A victory by Catch TwentyTwo would be the cherry on top of a memorable season for trainer Paul Peter and the three-year-old will have his supporters after his outstanding effort when a close second to Rainbow Bridge in the Champions Challenge.
The Champions Cup is run over 1,800m and it is worth remembering that Peter’s three-year-old ran third this distance when third behind Malmoos in the SA Classic at Turffontein in March.
While Sean Tarry does not have a runner in the Champions Cup, his Gold Vase winner Nebraas has been priced up to 3-1 favourite for the Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup, which is always one of the best betting events in the racing calendar.
A son of Vercingetorix owned by Al Adiyaat, Nebraas handled his first try at 3,000m with no problems, which is no surprise given his dam Noor Dubai is by Archipenko.
Two runners in single figures are the Snaith camp’s stayer Silver Host and Joe Soma’s stayer African Adventure. The former ran a close third behind Shango in the Hollywoodbets 2200 on July day, while the latter has won two of his past three starts at Turffontein.
However, African Adventure was beaten four lengths by another Gauteng Gold Cup entry Don’t Look Back in the Gold Bowl in April. Many racing fans may consider St John Gray’s stayer has a good each-way chance at his early price of 11-1 in the Greyville marathon.
Don’t Look Back’s latest run, when last of five behind Out Of Your League in a race at Turffontein, is a concern considering the five-year-old had hardly put a hoof wrong in his previous outings this term.
Snaith has declared his jockeys for the Gold Cup, with Richard Fourie on Silver Host, Craig Zackey on Doublemint and Grant van Niekerk aboard Bayberry.
1st Race: (8) Prairie Falcon (3) Golden Aspen (5) Icy Night (6) Maboneng
2nd Race: (6) King Arthur (2) Boleto (1) Admiral Dooley (10) Secret Link
3rd Race: (1) Sheela (3) Aurora Light (2) Aunty Lizzy (4) On Cue
4th Race: (1) Dyce (2) Master Archie (4) Miss Magician (3) Freed From Desire
5th Race: (7) Litigation (1) Brenner Pass (2) Enigma Code (4) Light Warrior
6th Race: (1) Bold Decision (4) Willow Lane (3) Shikuru (5) Oceans Pride
7th Race: (2) Back To Black (5) Money Fighter (3) Supreme Dance (7) Midnight Caller
8th Race: (4) Eskimo Pie (6) Humble Tune (8) Florida Keys (2) Flying Bull
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