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Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Around a decade ago, the Bass family could have found their way to the Met winner’s enclosure blindfolded. Four wins for the stable from 2007 to 2010 was dominated by treble scorer Pocket Power.

That was the era when Mike Bass — a legend of the turf — held the reins at the powerful Cape yard, but his daughter, Candice, has learnt the ropes in double-quick time.

In 2022 there is every chance of another Bass triumph in the R2m WSB Met at Kenilworth courtesy of the Silvano filly, Marina. She will bid to follow in the footsteps of Oh Susanna, the last female winner in 2018.

It is nine years since Aldo Domeyer won the then J&B Met on Martial Eagle, but Marina’s excellent third in the Paddock Stakes will have seen him retire to bed dreaming of a second win.

In Domeyer’s nightmares, he will see any of Linebacker, Kommetdieding, Double Splendour or Jet Dark collaring him close to home as a case could be made for each of this quartet.

This column has constantly been in Linebacker’s corner and the gelding may well provide Vaughan Marshall with a fourth Met triumph. His first Met winner was La Fabulous in 1996.

One man who certainly hopes Linebacker can win is breeder John Koster. His Klawervlei Stud will be offering his half-brother (by William Longsword) at the De Grendel Cape Premier Yearling Sale on February 6.

If Kommetdieding adds this prize to his July victory, the celebrations in the Cape Flats will go on deep into the night. Drawn in pole position, by all accounts Gavin Lerena’s mount has had the perfect preparation and it could be another red-letter day for owner Ashley Reynolds.

Justin Snaith is on record as saying “you don’t fluke grade 1s” so with three to his credit Jet Dark goes to post boasting huge credentials. Yes, he is trying 2,000m for the first time but his trainer has stated he believes stamina is not an issue.

There is a quartet carryover and it might be an idea to include Jet Dark’s stablemate Hoedspruit. Owner Suzette Viljoen is not the unluckiest lady in racing and Louis Mxothwa will get the best out of his mount.

Do It Again has nearly three lengths to find with Hoedspruit on Premier Trophy running; a first Met win for the seven-year-old looks unlikely.

In the Cape Flying Championship (grade 1), Rio Querari is weighted to turn the tables on Real Gone Kid, but the Aussie import might come out on top once again.

It is hard to get away from the fact the colt is one of the best-bred horses running at the meeting. His sire, Snitzel, is a world-renowned stallion who stands at Arrowfield Stud in New South Wales.

He cost A$260,000 at the 2004 Magic Millions and retired a seven-time winner. His stud fee in 2018 was A$220,000 but this was reduced to A$165,000 in 2020.

Viljoen will be hoping to celebrate a 10th win by Captain’s Ransom in the Majorca Stakes and — reverting to 1,600m — the daughter of Captain Al is hard to oppose.

Anton Marcus is sure to get the best out of Princess Calla and one has to say her form over the past 12 months has been admirable: a win, four seconds and a fourth in her past six outings.

However, there could be a “joker in the pack” in the form of Bernard Fayd’Herbe’s mount She’s A Keeper. Those pundits who have watched the Paddock Stakes closely will see the mare was still in contention 200m out and went down by less than two lengths.

Given a good performance on Saturday, She’s A Keeper can be pencilled in as a possible Durban July contender.

SELECTIONS

WSB MET

1 MARINA

2 LINEBACKER

3 KOMMETDIEDING

4 JET DARK

1st Race: (6) Peut Etre Moi (4) Eleodoro (5) I’m In Love (1) Galiek Yo Baby

2nd Race: (1) Steinbeck (8) Gentleman Joe (2) Navy Strength (6) Captive Moon

3rd Race: (4) Captain Dizzy (6) Transact (5) Ravensthorpe (2) Winter Mosaic

4th Race: (5) Hyde Park (2) Silver Operator (4) Warrior (8) Look For Hounds

5th Race: (8) Cousin Casey (11) We’re Jamming (2) Street Outlaw (4) Pacific Green

6th Race: (3) Universal (6) Pacaya (1) Zapatillas (7) Senso Unico

7th Race: (4) Real Gone Kid (1) Rio Querari (7) Captain Fontane (12) Hello Winter Hello

8th Race: (1) Captain’s Ransom (3) Princess Calla (8) Chansonette (4) She’s A Keeper

10th Race: (9) Sparkling Water (1) Doublemint (7) One Way Traffic (2) Crome Yellow

11th Race: (8) Surjay (1) Izapha (2) Han Solo (3) Paper Trail

12th Race: (12) Magna Mater (2) Forries Forever (1) Polar World (6) Mounia

WSB MET BETTING

(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

33-10 Jet Dark, Kommetdieding

7-2 Double Superlative

9-2 Linebacker

6-1 Marina

16-1 Hoedspruit, Do It Again

50-1 Second Base

75-1 Puerto Manzano

80-1 Rockin’ Ringo

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