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

Affable Western Cape trainer Dean Kannemeyer will be hoping for a belated birthday present when he saddles Cosmic Highway for the grade 2 Concorde Cup at Kenilworth on Saturday.

The man who has saddled three Durban July winners Dynasty (2003), Eyeofthetiger (2006) and Power King (2015), turned 61 last Monday.

After being taught the ropes by his father, Peter, it was never in doubt that Dean would reach the top of his profession. Dean said: “My Dad always said, show me a good owner then show me a good horse.”

Well, Cosmic Highway does have good owners in Kyaya Stables and the three-year-old will have benefited from his first outing of the new season when third behind Seeking The Stars in last month’s Matchem Stakes.

Keagan De Melo, who had five mounts at the Vaal on Thursday, returns to his home city to partner Cosmic Highway and he will be expecting a big run from the R400,000 son of Gimmethegreenlight.

No question that both Glen Kotzen’s Good Traveller and Candice Bass-Robinson’s Xavion are likely to throw down challenges with S’manga Khumalo booked to ride the former for the first time.

Kotzen has probably spotted that Khumalo is riding as well as any time in his career and rarely leaves a highveld meeting without a winner. He will be delighted to have got the call to partner with such a promising three-year-old.

Bookies quote Cosmic Highway as the 2-1 favourite and are unlikely to get a result like Clafoutis’ dismal run at Turffontein last Saturday. He is selected ahead of Good Traveller and Xavion.

In the supporting feature, the grade 2 Cape Merchants, former champion trainer David Ferraris’ unbeaten four-year-old Captain Fontane faces his toughest assignment. Amazingly, it is another top ride for Khumalo, who takes over from Ashton Aries.

Though this column’s followers did their money on Vaughan Marshall’s runners in the Durban July, taking on the veteran trainer on his home ground is as difficult as taking on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Marshall’s juvenile, Ambiorix, enjoyed a good first season. With the trainer telling Turftalk editor Ken Nicol this week that “with a low weight on Saturday he should go well”, there is every reason Fourie (putting up 0.5kg overweight) can take top honours on the son of Vercingetorix.

Luke Ferraris rode Ambiorix to two wins last season and Marshall has been quick to engage Fourie with Justin Snaith’s filly, Major Attraction, likely to find the boys too smart.

One runner who might prove a big threat off the same weight (52kg) as Ambiorix is Adam Marcus’s colt, Bereave. He is a topical tip for this writer who has just returned from the UK after a family bereavement.

Anthony Andrews is one of the best lightweights in the country and he will be excited to partner the Marcus inmate for the first time.

The selection is Ambiorix to take the first prize of R109,375 ahead of Captain Fontane, Bereave and Russian Rock.

• A total of 156 lots will come under the hammer at Saturday’s Bloodstock SA November two-year-old Sale in Germiston.

Many of the country’s best-known studs are represented including drafts from two Gauteng establishments, Bosworth Farm Stud and Heversham Park Farm. The former is offering an Ideal World colt from the family of Durban July winner Heavy Metal.

Kat and Nigel Riley are enthusiastic owners of Heversham and — to their credit — have eight different stallions in their 12-horse draft. There is likely to be plenty of interest in lot 141 — a Willow Magic colt out of the three-time winning Trippi mare, Defining Looks.

SELECTIONS

CONCORDE CUP

1. (2) Cosmic Highway

2. (1) Good Traveller

3. (3) Xavion

4. (4) Pomp And Power

CAPE MERCHANTS

1. (10) Ambiorix

2. (9) Captain Fontane

3. (13) Bereave

4. (1) Russian Rock

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