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Picture: HAGEN HOPKINS/GETTY IMAGES
Picture: HAGEN HOPKINS/GETTY IMAGES

If Sparkling Water takes her chance, there won’t be a “lap of honour” for Kommetdieding in Saturday’s Premier’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein. But it will be a shock if the first prize of R1.2m doesn’t end up in the bank account of owner Ashwin Reynolds.

Kommetdieding — the Durban July and Cape Met winner — failed to win on his highveld debut when beaten into third by MK’s Pride in the Horse Chestnut Stakes, but can recoup those losses in Saturday’s grade 1 race.

When it comes to big races, bookmaker Lance Michael often takes on the favourite, but not this time. “Odds of 7-10 is a precise representation of Kommetdieding’s chances and he should win with a measure of ease,” he has said.

The word from the stable at Randjesfontein is that the four-year-old’s preparation has had no hiccups. He got in work before the rain and had a grass gallop at Randjesfontein last week. “He is fit and well,” Michelle Rix told Turftalk.

Mike de Kock might leave Sparkling Water’s participation to the last minute as he would not want any stress for the filly after her third a week ago in the Empress Club Stakes. This column remains happy with the advice to back Sparkling Water for the July back in February when she was 33-1 and 5-1 a place.

Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren runs Second Base and Puerto Manzano with Keagan De Melo opting for the former, who ran second 12 months ago.

Nevertheless, there was a lot to like about Puerto Manzano’s Horse Chestnut and the Argentinian-bred — ridden for the first time by Anton Marcus — can stay on and earn a decent cheque. The third-place purse is R300,000.

Whatever his fate in the Champions Challenge, Marcus will feel his best chance of success at the meeting is Real Gone Kid who is sure to have been tuned to the minute for the grade 1 Computaform Sprint by Brett Crawford.

Though one could say the Aussie import disappointed when beaten by Bohica in the Cape Flying Championship, the four-year-old was only a length behind the Azzie raider. He was a surprising drifter in the market going from 5-2 to 4-1.

Paul Peter’s sprinter Master Archie arrives in rude health and deserves his position as favourite. The first prize of R625,000 would help the trainer’s bid to land his first championship. Peter has backup in the form of five-time winner Big Burn and a stable exacta is not out of the question.

High draws seem favoured in sprints at Turffontein so the Azzie camp will be happy with Bohica’s draw of 13 while Master Archie and Big Burn are both well-positioned in stalls 9 and 11.

Rain In Holland has not put a hoof wrong this term and is a 1-3 chance to continue on her merry way with victory in the grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes. Perfect Witness ran third in the SA Fillies Classic and has a chance of taking the runner-up berth this time.

Candice Dawson trains Perfect Witness and her runner in the 10th race — the jockeys versus work riders event — looks worth an each-way punt. She saddles Mini Coop, who finished third on debut and can go well in the hands of Chama Mabaya.

The early favourite is St John Gray’s runner Argo Alley, who made a promising debut when second earlier in April. Muzi Yeni gets the ride but his mount is a two-year-old and receives only 0.5kg from Mini Coop.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (1) Shoemaker (3) Oathkeeper (7) National Star (2) Breakpoint

2nd Race: (4) Bard Of Avon (5) Prince Of Fire (6) Willow Express (2) Super Silvano

3rd Race: (2) Maheranee (6) Simple Simple (4) Queen Of Gaul (3) None Other

4th Race: (7) Union Square (2) Karangetang (3) Laguna Verde (5) Set To Go

5th Race: (8) Sound Of Warning (7) Freed From Desire (2) Sweet Future (9) Kissing Point

6th Race: (4) Real Gone Kid (6) Master Archie (1) Bohica (14) Big Burn

7th Race: (1) Kommetdieding (12) Sparkling Water (3) Puerto Manzano (4) Second Base

8th Race: (4) Rain In Holland (6) Perfect Witness (5) Sprinkles (1) Pink Tourmaline

9th Race: (4) Black Thorn (1) Nebraas (2) Imperial Ruby (5) Barak

10th Race: (11) Mini Coop (12) Argo Alley (7) Lemme Go (6) Victory Of Dubai

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