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Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Even her legendary father, Mike Bass, will be amazed at what his daughter, Candice, has achieved since taking over the reins of the stable six years ago. The 48-year-old finished in sixth place in last season’s national trainers log and is up to fourth this term.

Another plus factor about Bass-Robinson is her forthright opinion in interviews. After Rockpool won the Politician Stakes, she was asked if she thought the Snaith inmate could beat Charles Dickens in the Cape Derby. Her reply: “He will need to improve.”

Bookmakers have little doubt that Charles Dickens will win Saturday’s R1.5m Splashout Cape Derby at Kenilworth offering the son of Trippi at the cramped odds of 30-100.

This column’s suggestion is to play up the winnings on our 6-1 winner, Laguna Verde, in the Egoli Mile by taking the double coupling Charles Dickens and Cape Oaks second favourite, Hold My Hand.

Charles Dickens is 3-1 favourite for the Durban July but punters will probably hold their fire until after Saturday’s 2,000m race.

It is a distance Charles Dickens is trying for the first time and there can be little doubt that Justin Snaith tactics of his sextet of runners will be to make the 2,000m race a test of stamina.

Rockpool, whose wide draw shouldn’t be a factor with only 10 runners, is obviously the stable elect and there was plenty to like about his last win in the Politician Stakes. The colt is bidding for a four-timer on Saturday.

Gavin Lerena will be happy to be partnering Nevada King for the second time as the form book reveals his mount was only two lengths adrift of Rockpool in a 1,600m race in December.

Leading jockey Keagan De Melo rides 8-1 chance At My Command and Dean Kannemeyer’s runner should earn a cheque for his connections.

The staggering feature about the Schweppes Oaks, the second race on the card, is the paltry prize money — the gross stake is R250,000.

The winning owners receive R148,438 which is just R6,000 more than the third cheque in the Cape Derby.

However, while the Oaks looks De Melo’s best chance of a winner with Hold My Hand — there’s little to choose between the filly and the favourite, Silverlinks, judged on their latest meeting.

Trainer Glen Kotzen must be pulling his hair out at Hold My Hand having failed to win in five outings in the Cape season and — if his filly can reproduce the sort of finishing run she managed in the Cape Fillies Guineas — she has to go close.

The presence of Captain’s Ransom on the 10-race card is another reason for racing fans to make the trip to the Kenilworth track and Justin Snaith’s star mare should make a lap of honour in the third race.

Is owner Suzette Viljoen now regretting her decision to not accept an invitation to run in the 2022 Breeders Cup? It’s an interesting question.

With several others in the Snaith team possessing chances on the 10-race card, a bet bookies might like to offer is how many winners the stable will saddle at the meeting.


1st Race: (2) Proud Master (3) Usa Hope (6) Captain Bombshell (5) Barzalona

2nd Race: (8) Hold My Hand (4) Silverlinks (9) Gold Poker Game (5) Broadway Girl

3rd Race: (1) Captain's Ransom (3) Happy Chance (2) Gimme Lassie (4) Santa Maria

4th Race: (10) Luna Halo (4) Kyalami Girl (9) Golden Sickle (11) Royals

5th Race: (10) Outlaw King (7) Speeding Bullet (4) Zoomie (3) Except Temptation

6th Race: (2) The Abdicator (10) Gimmelightning (1) Winter Cloud (11) Rascova

7th Race: (13) Silvano’s Dasher (8) Universal (2) Al Muthana (4) Imilenzeyokududuma

8th Race: (2) Charles Dickens (11) Rockpool (4) At My Command (6) Mucho Dinero

9th Race: (4) Gimme A Prince (11) Rio Querari (3) Trip Of Fortune (7) We’re Jamming

10th Race: (5) Hawk Circle (6) Mighty Mac (2) Captain Casanova (7) Aspect

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