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Is Durban July heroine Sparkling Water the forgotten horse as far as this year’s R2m WSB Met is concerned? That looks the case as many pundits — and ante-post backers — concentrate on the chances of the three-year-olds, Make It Snappy and Cousin Casey.

Sparkling Water no longer being in the spotlight can be attributed to the mare’s two defeats in the Victory Moon Stakes and Betway Summer Cup. Mike de Kock’s star started at 28-10 and 3-1 respectively for those races so punters gave back a lot of their July winnings.

Sparkling Water ran third behind Litigation in the Victory Moon and could only manage 10th place behind Puerto Manzano in the Summer Cup. The veterinary surgeon reported the mare to be “not striding out” in the latter race.

However, there is no doubt De Kock will have smiled after the recent Paddock Stakes in which Sparkling Water finished an eye-catching fourth just two lengths behind Make It Snappy. There is an extra 200m to travel in the Met which has to be in her favour.

In the Met, Sparkling Water will get her sex allowance so will carry 57.5kg thus receiving 2.5kg from the favourite, Jet Dark. The latter’s supporters will be quick to point out that the Trippi colt gave her 6.5kg when beaten three lengths in the July.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s draw at the Waterfront in Cape Town (5pm), Snaith has already declared his jockey bookings with the surprise being Muzi Yeni’s engagement for seven-year-old Nexus.

One would have thought that Piere Strydom would have got the nod on the Dynasty gelding as he won the Peninsula Handicap on the veteran and then ran second in the grade 2 Premier Trophy.

Muzi Yeni may have felt that there was a chance of him getting the call for the lightly weighted Make It Snappy but — as reported on Tuesday — that mount has gone to Keagan De Melo. Nexus is a 20-1 chance with the sponsors for the Met and may start an even bigger price nearer the off.

With most of the leading fancies already with jockeys booked, it is possible Yeni was going to end up without a ride and at least the popular rider knows his mount is no back number.

Bernard Fayd’Herbe, winner of the King's Plate on Al Muthana, has been engaged for another veteran, eight-year-old, Do It Again. After his unplaced run in the Premier Trophy, a 10th career win for the dual July winner looks unlikely.

Despite him enjoying an outstanding season, a first Met win for Kabelo Matsunyane also looks remote on “bad boy” Pomp And Power. He finished a length in front of Do It Again in the Premier Trophy and his ante-post price of 40-1 looks about right.

A runner with a lot more friends is JP van der Merwe’s mount, Universal, with Adam Marcus’ four-year-old finding his form at just the right time. The Gimmethegreenlight gelding’s second in the 2,000m Cape Derby in February is proof the Met trip should be right up his alley.

Richard Fourie was in the saddle when Jet Dark won his maiden at Kenilworth in June 2020 and the talented rider — in second place in the national jockeys log — will be relishing the chance of a fourth success for owners Tommy Crowe and Nic Jonsson.

Jet Dark was drawn in stall 10 in the 11-runner King’s Plate so the Carletonville-born jockey will be hoping for a single figure barrier when the draw is conducted on Wednesday evening.

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