3.00 Scottsville: Track & Ball ‘Derby'(Grade 2)
This stayers contest has been won by Hot Ticket last year in impressive fashion, when it was still held at now defunct Clairwood racecourse over half a furlong longer trip. Now at Scottsville over 2.400m, the same result is expected nonetheless. Hot Ticket is the hot favourite, and for all the right reasons.
He’s South Africa’s top stayer, 112 rated, and has a prime chance in this field with the official ratings weights very much in is favour. No doubt, he’ll be hard to beat as he should be in peak form today after two decent prep runs over shorter. The only thing that may find him out is the trip. 2.400m on quick ground is potentially not his optimum. Nonetheless, I give him a 50% chance of winning the race, given that the opposition has so much to find on the ratings.
Realistically there are only three other runners able to put a fight to Hot Ticket. Disco Al has been in good form lately and stays the 2400m trip well. He is, however, slightly below top class level and was beaten by 5.5 lengths in this race last year. This Ramsden charge is well exposed these days and while sure to run his race, is likely to fall short.
Double Clouth is an improving sort. He tries this trip for the first time and if he stays it it may well help him to progress even further – however there isn’t much in his pedigree suggesting he’ll stay it. There is pace on here and it probably will find him out.
Also on the upward has been Kingston Mines. He has progressed from low grade handicaps into a multiple Grade 2 winner in the staying division. He is likely to be setting the pace here and has top jockey Delpech in the saddle. He was disappointing in his last two starts and has a good deal to find on the ratings. Blinkers are on though, and that could well help to squeeze out a bit of improvement again.
The two three year old’s Krambabuli and Mater James should find it very tough to compete. Even so the former one has to be respected coming from a top yard with an unexposed profile. Says trip and class are against him.
Verdict: No doubt, Hot Ticket is very hard to beat here. However I feel Kingston Mines is a real threat and underestimated. He developed into a very good stayer, is a multiple Stakes winner and is likely to make all from the front with first time blinkers added. He’ll ensure to set a good pace and will try to stretch them entering the home straight.
If this turns out to be the stamina test is should be then, there are only him and the favourite likely to be suited by it. Given that we know how good Hot Ticket is, but can’t be quite sure yet whether Kingston Mine has reached his full potential, I side with this overpriced De Kock runner. If he can improve for the new headgear, he’s in for a very big performance.
Kingston Mines @10/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win