Picture: 123RF/ MELORYS
Picture: 123RF/ MELORYS

Cape trainers fire their first salvos of the summer season at Durbanville on Saturday and it is unlikely to be a pleasant experience for bookmakers.

The double of Captain’s Ransom (5-10) in the Diana Stakes and Cosmic Highway (5-2) in the Matchem is sure to appeal to many punters.

Though it is true there is no such thing as a racing certainty, only misfortune in running can surely prevent Captain’s Ransom from notching the seventh win of her career. Her merit-rating is 10 points higher than Scented Mistress.

Possibly, the filly to chase home the favourite is her stablemate Major Attraction. She is on a roll and bidding for a four-timer.

There will be a few raised eyebrows that Vaughan Marshall has kept faith with young Jabu Jacobs for Scented Mistress, particularly as he cannot claim his apprentice allowance. However, Marshall can argue the youngster knows the filly well having ridden her in three of her past four races.

Born in Petrusville near Kimberley, 20-year-old Jacobs was in the saddle when Scented Mistress ran downfield behind She’s A Keeper in the Gold Bracelet on Gold Cup day in July.

Marina is in good form with Candice Bass-Robinson team winning her past two starts, but the latest was over 2,400m so Saturday’s trip of 1,400m might be too short.

With just 52kg on his back, Cosmic Highway should make a bold bid for top honours in the Matchem Stakes. Dean Kannemeyer’s three-year-old, who has a first outing since winning the Gatecrasher Stakes at Greyville in June, also has the advantage of pole position.

Kannemeyer told the Sporting Post: “He has the draw at one and a galloping weight of 52kg so I felt it was worthwhile putting him to the test. He’s been to Durbanville for a gallop so won’t be completely ring-rusty.”

Seeking The Stars has been priced up the 2-1 favourite but those odds look skinny as he has the worst draw. The four-year-old finished five lengths behind Jet Dark in the Champions Cup in his last outing.

So how are punters going to make money in this 1,400m contest? It could pay to take swingers with Aldo Domeyer’s mount Wild Coast.

The five-year-old — out of the mighty mare Beach Beauty — is well named as backing her has been about as pleasant as a windswept winter day on a Wild Coast beach.

Yes, she was well beaten by stablemate Speed Machine in August and is rated four points inferior to the daughter of Legislate, but there was a lot to like about her recent course and distance win in the hands of Louis Mxothwa.

There’s two grade 2 races at Turffontein on Saturday and the Joburg Spring F & M Challenge clash between Under Your Spell and Big Burn should prove a fascinating contest. The former has to be the selection rated 13 points higher than Big Burn, but Paul Peter’s filly is on the upgrade and will not go down without a fight.

Sean Tarry said about Under Your Spell: “Preferably I’d have liked to have waited for the rain for her, but I think it’s the right race.”

An interesting poser — Big Burn beat Tarry’s Full Velocity last time out. How far would Under Your Spell beat her stablemate? Another Peter inmate, MK’s Pride, is sure to be well supported for the Joburg Spring Challenge, especially as the 1,450m trip is likely to prove too short for Durban July third Got The Greenlight.

Copper Mountain has Gavin Lerena in the irons and could have a say from a favourable draw and — though the trip is also too sharp — the performance of Alec Lairds runner Pamushana’s Pride should be closely monitored.

Finally, all eyes will be on Paris for the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday (4.05pm SA time) and this column’s longtime selection, Raabihah, will love the soft ground and is worth a place bet. Nevertheless, the top choice is the Japanese horse Chrono Genesis.

Top UK rider Oisin Murphy is bullish about his mount’s prospects telling the media: “There’s no chink in her armour.”

SELECTIONS

DIANA STAKES

(Durbanville, Saturday)

1 (1) Captain’s Ransom

2 (5) Major Attraction

3 (3) Scented Mistress

4 (2) Capitana

MATCHEM STAKES

(Durbanville, Saturday)

1 (11) Cosmic Highway

2 (5) Wild Coast

3 (2) Seeking The Stars

4. (10) Speed Machine

JOBURG SPRING F & M CHALLENGE

(Turffontein, Saturday)

1 (4) Under Your Spell

2 (5) Big Burn

3 (2) Thumbs Up

4 (6) Perfect Witness

JOBURG SPRING CHALLENGE

(Colts/Geldings)

(Turffontein, Saturday)

1 MK’s Pride

2 Copper Mountain

3 Got The Greenlight

4 Pamushana’s Pride

ARC DE TRIOMPHE

(Paris, Sunday)

1 Chrono Genesis

2 Raabihah

3 Adayar

4 Tarnawa

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