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

After the Novak Djokovic saga, it was very much a question of “advantage Australia”. As far as the R2m WSB Met at Kenilworth on January 29 is concerned, it is very much a case of “advantage Snaith”.

Though the final field is only being announced at a function in the Western Cape on Wednesday night, there is every chance the Snaith stable will have four runners: Double Superlative, Jet Dark, Hoedspruit and Do It Again.

Anton Marcus was in the saddle when Double Superlative won the Cape Guineas (Grade 1) over 1,600m at Kenilworth in December, and — if he takes the mount again — will probably have to stop eating for the next nine days as the three-year-old’s weight is 54kg.

Richard Fourie had ridden Double Superlative in each of his previous four starts, but this season’s leading Cape jockey now looks likely to be just a spectator. He did ride Hoedspruit to win the Premier Trophy — the Legislate gelding isn’t exactly prayerless after that run.

S’manga Khumalo will certainly be aboard Jet Dark after his Queen’s Plate triumph, while Louis Mxothwa has been mentioned for Hoedspruit and Bernard Fayd’herbe for Do It Again.

One of the big decisions that had to be made in the last few days surrounds Candice Bass-Robinson’s filly Marina. After her excellent third behind Captain’s Ransom in the Paddock Stakes, the Silvano filly was entered for the Met and Majorca Stakes.

It is understood that the Met is the choice and this looks the right move as the four-year-old has no stamina limitations — she has won over 2,400m — and will get her 3kg sex allowance.

Add in the fact that Aldo Domeyer has a good record in this race and that Marina’s career tally is eight wins from 14 starts, the suggestion from this column is that punters should start taking win and place doubles with Bass-Robinson’s star.

The Met has always been the target of Durban July hero Kommedieding and there is every chance Harold Crawford and Michelle Rix’s four-year-old will maintain his position as favourite over the next nine days.

Gavin Lerena has been booting home the winners on the highveld in recent weeks and he is a rider who can handle the big occasion.

Linebacker, the mount of Craig Zackey, may well put his poor run in the Queen’s Plate behind him as he is also trained by someone with a fine record in this race, 70-year-old Vaughan Marshall. The stable’s most recent winner is One World.

Work Riders have a meeting to themselves at the Vaal on Thursday, and Chamu Mabaya has a chance of notching a double for trainer Mike de Kock. Both Iphiko (fifth race) and Jaipur Jewel (sixth) have the best form in their respective events.

Iphiko, a R700,000 daughter of Trippi, stepped up on a poor debut when third behind Insatiable on her second start. Mabaya will have most to fear from Paul Matchett’s filly Country Flame.

Jaipur Jewel, a son of Twice Over, has been placed in four of his six starts and has pole position in race six. His opponents include Global Approach (Daniel Baase), Absolute Value (Tshepiso Matsoele), Spring Will Come (Thomas Ncume) and Gold Ambition (Joe Gwingwizha).

It is not often Gwingwizha leaves a Work Riders meeting without a winner and he has chances on Monsieur Chevelle (second race), Broadway (seventh race) and Twice A Miracle in the final leg of the Pick Six.

Twice A Miracle could be a banker bet for punters as the filly boasts some consistent form and is overdue to leave the maiden ranks.

SELECTIONS

First race: (1) Verolina (6) La Banquiere (2) Risky Business (5) Red Hot

Second race: (2) Monsieur Chevelle (1) Indian War Dance (6) Arizona Lady (7) Vaguely Familiar

Third race: (5) Trust The Fire (3) Black Burner (8) Orgetorix (1) JP Two Thousand

Fourth race: (4) Corapi (5) Castle Of Glass (1) Ra’ed (6) Soweto Spina

Fifth race: (9) Iphiko (2) Country Flame (4) Crown Plaza (3) Back To Formentera

Sixth race: (7) Jaipur Jewel (1) Global Approach (4) Absolute Value (5) Spring Will Come

Seventh race: (1) Broadway (8) Rule Book (3) Viceroy (6) Apache Gold

Eighth race: (5) Twice A Miracle (1) Tuuletar (2) Kissed By Fire (3) After Me

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