Category Archives: South Africa

Betting Preview: G1 Cape Town Met 2023

A Met for the ages – South Africa’s premier race over the 2.000m distance is full of star quality: 11 Grade 1 winners line up!

That includes last years first three home, plus the reigning Durban July champion, with the added excitement of top-class 3-year-old contenders taking on their elders.

As exciting as the field is, as underwhelming is the likely pace scenario. Few want to race close up, even fewer are confirmed front-runners. This could turn out to be a muddling affair and makes the analysis of the race tricky.

Make It Snappy: all week the favourite for the race. Ever since she won the Fillies’ Grade 1 Paddock Stakes three weeks ago, beating wonder mare Captain’s Ransom nicely from the front.

She is likely to move forward. She likes to have her own way from the front. The #2 draw is a great help. The trip isn’t a worry, she stays but has shown to have the speed to win Guineas.

The filly will get the ideal trip. She is the prime contender with her ultra-light weight. Fillies have a strong record in this race, too. The only question mark: is she good enough against the big boys?

Her merit rating, if factored in WFA and fillies’ allowance, says she very much is. No doubt, Make It Snappy is the one to beat.

Jet Dark: the second highest rated horse in the race. A class-act, with four Grade 1 victories to his name, he has got stellar form from the mile all the way to the July trip, where finished a fast finishing runner-up last year.

He’s likely to be primed for his final race before heading to stud, although is prep didn’t go totally to plan. Perhaps that was the reason why he only managed to finish 3rd in the King’s Plate earlier this month, a race he won back-to-back the years prior.

In saying that, the King’s Plate was an incredibly competitive renewal, and there was no shame to finish 3rd behind Charles Dickens and shock winner Al Muthana. On the other hand, a 1.5 lengths defeat, may show that he isn’t quite the force he used to be?

Kommetdieding: the defending champion. Won this race ahead of Jet Dark 12 months ago. The ultra-professional, consistent horse, a Durban July winner, will head to stud right after this race as well.

His prep couldn’t have gone much better, one would think. After a pipe opener over 6 furlongs, he ran lovely races in the Green Point Stakes as well as when 4th in the King’s Plate, less than two lengths beaten.

He is a better horse over this 2.000m trip, though, hence it’s noteworthy how well he ran over the shorter distances leading up to this race.

The 5-year-old looks as good as ever. He sets the standard in this field. Even though he hasn’t won since landing the Met last year, he ran mostly to a high level of form.

What’s intriguing about him is the ability to race up with the pace. He has a solid low draw, and is one of the few in this field likely to get the ideal trip. He’ll probably track Make It Snappy all the way, and then it will be a matter of how good the filly is.

Cousin Casey: the other three-year-old in this field. he was an outstanding juvenile, won the Premiers Champions Stakes and has returned in fine form this season, landing a Grade 3, before only finding Charles Dickens too strong in the Cape Guineas.

That performance warrants and upgrade, as he didn’t get an ideal race from a wide draw, and he made his challenge against the inside rail, while not having the clearest of runs.

He could improve for the step up in trip and clearly has the speed to feature strongly. His wide draw and likely racing position off the pace will make life tricky for Grant Van Niekerk, though.

Others Runners: he was 80/1 on the day, three weeks ago in the King#s Plate – is it a mistake to underestimate Al Muthana again? He caused the major upset in the King’s Plate, and is once again a longshot today. In truth, though, this 2.000m trip isn’t his optimum, and he will need luck from his draw.

Reigning Durban July heroine Sparkling Water seems to hit peak form after some solid prep runs. This trip is more what she wants as well. If they go hard up front then she would have a much better chance, though. In a slowly run race she may struggle.

Linebacker was third in the Met last year. he seems to have lost his way a little bit and is hard to fancy if judged on recent form. Rascallion won the Grade 2 Anthonij Rupert Wyne Premier Trophy three weeks ago. The additional furlong may stretch him, but even more than the trip it’s gonna be #17 draw that is a real issue today.

Last years Cape Derby runner-up Universal has only run three times since then. He seems to hit form at the right time, having performed well as a runner-up in the Green-Point Stakes and when less than a lengths behind Rascallion recently.

Veteran Do It Again has been around for a long time. He still runs to a good standard consistently. If his past record is a guide, though, he will struggle over this course and distance.

It’s hard to make a serious case for any other horse in the field. Zapatillas, last years Guineas winner is equally hard to fancy as it last years Cape Derby hero Pomp And Power, who seems to have lost some of his zest.

Christophe Soumillon is riding Golden Ducat from the #1 gate. The 7-year-old is a good deal off his past 128 Merit Rating; certainly on current form. However, if he sits close to the pace, he’s perhaps a surprise place chance.

Verdict:

This is all about the filly Make It Snappy and how much she can improve now that is going to meet the boys – and very much the absolute best of South Africa’s older horses.

She will get the run of the race and with that in mind 7/2 is a fair price. There is some 4/1 on the Exchanges, and that looks a touch over the top, even.

At the same time, this improvement is very much factored into the price. With that in mind, all week I was hoping to get inflated odds for the defending champion Kommetdieding.

His price went only one way all week, hence I was even more delighted to find Starsports offering a generous 6/1. That is about two points bigger than I would have imagined him to be.

Kommetdieding is likely to enjoy a near perfect race too. A good draw, he can sit handily, track the pace, and then from 500m out, will be asked for his effort, which will be as honest as ever. He doesn’t stop, he races hard to the line.

10pts win – Kommetdieding @ 6/1

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Photo Credit TBD

Kenilworth Selections: King’s Plate Day 2023

A brilliant day of racing at Kenilworth today: two competitive Grade 2’s, and two hot Grade 1 contests, including the King’s Plate. Christophe Soumillon is also here, back in the saddle for the first time since THE incident.

We will see the mouthwatering clash of wonder mare Captain’s Ransom going against the up an coming 3-year-old Make It Snappy, with Durban July winner Sparkling Water thrown in for good measure in the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes.

Obviously the Queen’s Plate and the return of Charles Dickens is what everyone wants to see. I am desperately exciting to find out whether this colt is the superstar he promises to be.

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2.10 – Grade 1 King’s Plate, 1 mile

The race everyone has been waiting for: superstar 3-year-old colt Charles Dickens takes on the best of South Africa’s older horses to find whether he truly is the real deal, the best in a long time, perhaps ever, as he promised to be in his six most scintillating career runs to date.

Before we get to crown Charles Dickens the king – how fitting for the new name of race after the death of the British queen – it must be said this years King’s Plate is packed with superstar older horses. This won’t be a walk in the park.

The Runners:

Jet Dark: won this race the last two years in a row. The best miler/middle-distance horse in South Africa at the moment. Comes here fresher than others not having seen since winning a Grade 3 in early November.

Looked as good as ever there, after winning two Grade 1’s last year and ran a huge race in the Durban July as runner-up over a trip that stretched his stamina to the limits. Would be hot favourite without Charles Dickens in the race.

Kommetdieding – commonly known as the “people’s horse”. The 2021 Durban July winner, and last years Met winner. Didn’t win again since last January’s Met success, but often fought heroically in defeat.

Had a lovely prep run in the Green Point Stakes. Will need this to run at a red hot pace. He’s better over further, could be found out for speed today.

Golden Ducat – won in 2020 the Cape Derby and Champion Cup. Usually competitive but probably just below top level these days, especially over a mile. Solid prep run in the Green Point, though.

Linebacker – Memories of his spectacular 3-year-old season fading fast. In 2021 he won the Guineas, Cape Derby and Daily News. Bit unlucky in the Durban July the last two years, but certainly better over 10 furlongs than a mile against the very best.

Trip Of Fortune – won three of his last four and seems still progressing. Took his form to new heights when landing the slowly run Green Point Stakes last time out, a first success over a mile. Will need it to be a dawdle again to feature.

Also running are last years Guineas winner Zapatillas, who only has been seen once since that May victory. Will find this too hot, most likely. Al Muthana makes more appeal as a place chance if he could run anywhere near last June’s G1 Gold Challenge Cup winning form. Hard to make a case for Russian Rock and Speed Machine.

Charles Dickens:

Unbeaten in six starts, he quickly has become the hottest equine property South African racing has seen in a long time. He’s already compared to the legendary Variety Club, and many think as good, if not potentially better, than the monster that was Horse Chestnut.

You can see why: from 5 furlongs to a mile Charles Dickens managed to win. Bar a slightly scary debut over the minimum trip, when he was still seriously green, he been the most impressive horse ever since.

Certainly since landing the Grade 3 Cape Classic on the bridle he looked to be something special. Last month the son of Trippi stepped up to a mile and up into Grade 1 company in the Cape Guineas. He had to answer two questions: does he stay the trip, and can he prove against the best 3-year-old colts?

He very much did. Even though he was a bit keen early on, he travelled sweetly well off the pace, was covered up until two furlongs from home, before pulled out wide.

What happened then was simply sensational. He destroyed his rivals with a devastating turn of foot to win handsomely by 4¼; but he could have won by the lengths of the straight if ridden out.

Charles Dickens looks a freak. He’s, no doubt the best colt I have seen in a very long time. Obviously I love a good colt from South Africa, have a soft spot for the racing there. This lad is special.

Yes, he’s got to prove it today. He takes on the very best. Jet Dark is a brilliant horse. If he can beaten him, then all the hype will be more than warranted.

I believe with the weight allowance Charles Dickens has in his favour today and the level of performances he has shown so far, he’s nearly unbeatable today. I don’t say this lightly.

Backing him at close to 1/2 isn’t a serious bet, I must say. It’s simply one I want to do because I want to be on this horse. It’s pure emotion…. Fly Charles Dickens…. fly.

10pts win – Charles Dickens @ 1.55

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1.00 – G2 Anthonij Rupert Wyne Premier Trophy, 9f

13 go to post. This is super competitive. Not my type of race. There a few that caught the eye in their latest run, and there is, of course, star veteran Do It Again. Can he do it again? He sets the standard, still, but is an 8-year-old now.

Last years Cape Derby win Pomp And Power is probably the most talented individual, though, his behavioural issues are well documented. he ran poorly the last two, and the words from the yard that some of the fire isn’t quite there as it used to, is a concern.

On form Universal is the one to beat. Won over this course and distance in grade 3 company last year, and improved nicely for a tame comeback run when last seen an excellent runner-up in the Grade Green Point Stakes. He’s likely to get an ideal trip. Not much not to like, except that he rarely finishes strong, and could be vulnerable to a fast finisher.

That could be the one I am seriously sweet on: Airways Law. I backed him as a longshot in the Durban July last summer, when he came into South Africa’s Premier race as an unproven, yet exciting improver.

He ran a massive race that day, finishing 6th from off the pace, making fantastic progress in the final 3 furlongs. He ran the 4th fastest split for final 400m, only 0.2s slower than fastest finisher, class act Jet Dark, despite getting quite tiered in the the last 100 yards.

Sure, the low weight helped, but he ran on well against a pace bias, and it showed he can mix it with the best horses.

Leading up to the July he won three on the bounce, mainly on the All-Weather. Doing so in the most exciting style thanks to a devastating turn of foot. He is a strong traveller, who can change gear in an instant. In 7 of his 10 career runs did he clock the fastest final 400m splits.

Still quit unexposed on turf, this will only be his fifth start on grass, although, he’s already a Grade 3 winner on the surface over the 9f trip.

After the July he got a nice break, returned in December in a Grade 2 Handicap over this CD. He made a bit of late headway, but it was clear the run was badly needed.

He should strip much fitter and one would think connections have eyed this race. Jockey Gareth Wright is back in the saddle too – knows this horse really well from riding all five wins.

One could argue Airways Law has a bit to find with the very best here on the weights. However, I think there is good chance he can still improve a bit. He’s a super price to find out whether he’s a good one in this class.

10pts win – Airways Law @ 14/1

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1.35 – Grade 1 Paddock Stakes, 9f

Superstar filly Captain’s Ransom is a short price favourite to land her 14th career victory in then 17 starts. An outstanding record, especially against her own sex she is tough to beat. She also loves Kenilworth.

But 9 furlongs is close to her stamina limit. She has won this race last year, but her very best comes over shorter and this looks a strong renewal. In her favour maybe the lack of pace. At prices I am happy to take her on, as she isn’t getting younger, either.

Sparkling Water the reigning Durban July champion hasn’t been quite that good in two runs since, and this trip is on the sharp side for her.

More appeal makes 5-year-old Marina. She is 4 from 7 over this course and distance and had a lovely prep. She is a big runner.

She was beaten back in November, however, in the Summer Bowl by rapidly improving 3-year-old filly Make It Snappy. There is 4.5kg turnaround in the weights, but the younger rival only races for the fifth time today and steps up in trip to 1.900m for the first time.

When last seen, she won the Fillies’ Guineas in fine style, which followed her Summer Bowl victory. She sees out a mile really well and as a daughter of Dynasty should have the required stamina for the additional furlong.

Her dam’s only other offspring won over 9 furlongs as well, so I don’t see an issue with the trip, at all. Her prominent racing style should be an advantage in a race where not many want to move forward, I reckon.

She can kick nicely from the front, as seen in the Bowl, where she ran the final 400m the fastest, despite having made all.

Of course she has to prove that she truly belongs here, now taking on the best older fillies. However, she is improving all the time, is nicely bred for the job, and with the WFA allowance could be hard to beat I believe. I’d make her a 2/1 shot in this field.

10pts win – Make It Snappy @ 7/2

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Picture Copyright: CANDIESE LENFERNA

Big Race Preview: Durban July 2018

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South Africa’s most prestigious race intrigues year after year with a a massive field size including at least two handful of runners you can all see playing their part in the outcome of the race. A tricky contest to work out and one where favourites have a hard time.

The winner paid 17/1 or bigger the last three editions alone, and the last two years no single figure priced horses even made it into the money. Tactics pay an important part but the pace angle is one that used to gather little traction in the discussions leading up to the big race in the past, I feel.

Different this time. It’s the discussion topic number one. A muddling affair is feared. That will make life tough for those who come from behind naturally or those who end up in rear due to their wide draw.

It also poses a difficult decision for those jockey sitting on horses who need a proper stamina test but who are drawn wide or who wouldn’t naturally like to be too close to the pace.

Either way, the hot favourite African Night Sky from the powerful Justin Snaith yard may well be the most talented individual in the race but is clearly a price to forget. He stays the trip and had an excellent preparation, however his tendency to miss the break on occasions plus the need to be dropped in will make life incredibly tough for the four-year old gelding.

My eyes are firmly set on his stable mate Made To Conquer, instead. What can go wrong with a name like that?! In seriousness, this supremely talented son of Dynasty has been coming through the ranks, improving bit by bit while showing excellent desire combined with the ability to change gear.

Made To Conquer has been winning four on the trot. Albeit largely in much lower grade. The progressive gelding took his time, though since September last year he won six of his seven starts and showed a step up in class to graded company isn’t a problem when landing the Grade 3 Stirrup Cup off a big weight. Officially only a head between himself and multiple Stakes winner Strathdon, Made To Conquer held the stable mate under a hands and heels ride rather easily.

A step up to the highest level is only the right consequence. Made To Conquer is a staying type. He already won over 2.500 meters. So, dropping down to the 2.200 meters in the July is a slight question mark, particularly in the light of the predicted pace.

That says, despite a wider than ideal draw, it is likely that Jeff Lloyd will make plenty of use of the featherweight and the stamina his mount possesses and march forward early on to be close enough to the pace and take it up if needed. This is as much as he said himself: he ain’t gonna sit around.

If he holds true to this then Made To Conquer will surely be in the right position – which nearly always in the July is closer to the pace than too far off. Lloyd can send him on his way hitting top gear entering the home straight confidently knowing the gelding will stay all day long and clearly relishes having a fight on hands too.

For Jeff Lloyd it would bring an incredibly career in the saddle to a fairytaile ending. The 56 year old has never won the July despite being a six-times South African champion jockey. It’s going to be one last hurray before retirement beckons right after.

Selection:
10pts win – Made To Conquer @ 9/1 Sky

Featherweight Seattle Swing Worth a Punt

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1.35 Fairview: MR 84 Handicap, 2000m

Muzi Yeni has a sensational record riding for du Plessis, so Oh So Modus must rate a massive chance. The four year old already is a course and distance winner too and proved himself to be in fine form lately.

You don’t have to look far for dangers though. Another four year old gelding, the Justin Snaith trained Galao has been running extremely well, having been placed or won in all his last four starts.

The eight year old veteran Money Grubber is probably in the grip of the handicapper at the moment, however can’t be taken lightly as this is his trip.

However I take a chance with the only three year old in the race, Seattle Swing. Still rather lightly raced, he may be able to improve for what he has shown so far. He won over 1600m on yielding ground last season, followed later by an impressive success here on the polytrack over 2.200m. Off only 52kg I see a chance of him being extremely well in, though only if he can take another step forward  given this is a tougher race than those he contested in before.

Seattle Swing @ 10/1 Coral – 5pts Win

Fairview: Top Weight is Value

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11.50 Fairview: Pinnacle Stakes, 1000m

An open looking contest where class horse Copper Parade is a fair measure stick given he was placed in a Grade 2 lately. He is two from four starts over this course and distance, so is very well respected and sure to run a big race.

Late bloomer Blizzard Belle seems to be the main danger. Bidding for a four-timer today, the five year old has excelled over the minimum trip in recent weeks achieving a career best in December when landing a MR86 Handicap off top weight.

The three year old Oriental Tiger is an intriguing contender. Lightly raced and showing some potential, he could have still more to offer. He’s coming as a fresh horse into the race, is badly out off the weights, but probably hasn’t shown his true form yet. With Domeyer up he’s got to be respected.

Cauclair is a great little money spinner and can be competitive after winning his latest race two weeks ago, though the drop to the minimum trip is not ideal and he might be beaten for speed by quicker sorts at this downhill sprint track.

The highest rated horse in the field is The West Is Wide. He might be slightly flattered by his current rating off 106 as he was disappointing in his last three starts. However he loves this trip and is a course winner as well. He’s well weighted to go close if he can find back something of his best. Dropping down to 1.000m can only be a help and Agrella booked for the ride is a big bonus.

Summary: It’s fair to say that Copper Parade is the horse to beat after his runner-up effort in Grade 2 company. His win record isn’t the best lately though. He’s a fair price in a competitive little affair but the value lies with the top rated The West Is Wide. If rejuvenated by the return to this track and trip he could easily outrun his price tag.

The West Is Wide @ 10/1 VC – 5pts Win

Sunday Greyville Tips

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2.15 Greyville: Mr 86 Handicap, 1.200m

With the scratching of Highway Explorer and Piano Man this Handicap is decimated by two of the more likelier sorts where now only three horses can be realistically have a chance to win, as long as they run to their true form.

The three year old Cutting Edge has an edge in the weights and should strip fitter today after a fine comeback run in December. He’s the highest rated individual in this race and with Delpech on board will be a major player.

That says I’m keen on De Kock’s Jayyed today. He’s coming off a half year long break, however seems best as a fresh horse and won a maiden plate last year after a similar lay-off over this 1.200m trip. The switch to polytrack should suit perfectly on pedigree, and after having to face top class opposition in graded company in all his last starts, this represents a much easier task.

There is the chance the run is only to sharpen him up and bigger targets may be ahead, over further distances as well. But with a talented apprentice on board who takes off valuable 2.5kg I feel Jayyed must have a serious say in the closing stages, as long as he doesn’t miss the break, something he did a couple of times last year.

Jayyed @ 11/2 VC – 5pts Win

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2.50 Greyville: MR 74 Handicap, 1000m

Favourite Hooponopono is way to short in my mind. He’s consistent but has to prove he’s capable of winning off his current rating.

A better alternative seems the one year younger All True Man, who has to some extend a similar profile, but is a much bigger price. If you forgive ATM his last performance which was too bad to be true, then you see an ultra consistent runner who is one from one over course and distance and who’s been knocking on the door in similar races lately.

Going from pole position today combined with the handy 2.5kg apprentice allowance of Tristan Godden could give him the edge in this contest.

All True Man @ 11/2 VC – 5pts Win

Speed Limit exceeded at Kenilworth

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3.55 Kenilworth: MR 85, 1.600m

An open enough looking contest, though you have to give the advantage to the three year olds, given they receive and handful of weight and are seemingly more talented than the majority of older horses in this contest.

The two top rated older horses Mountain Master and Waiting For Rain are dropping in the ratings though and if they run up to their best have excellent chances to feature.

However the 91 rated 3yo colt Fifty Cents is very much favoured to take the step up in trip in his strides. He’s a fair chance on pedigree and seemed to stay 1.400m thoroughly the last time.

I very much like the other three year Speed Limit, though, who has already won over course and distance and stayed 1.60om very strongly when getting off the mark in a maiden the last time.

His opening mark off 83 is stiff enough, but Speed Limit has the assistance of top drawer Anthony Delpech today. That in itself seems a vote of confidence. At 7/1 he is the value in the race in my mind.

Speed Limit @ 7/1 William Hill – 5pts Winner

Preview: 2016 Queen’s Plate

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Fasten your seatbelt – the 2016 Queen’s Plate will take you for a ride! It’s gonna be fast and furious! South Africa’s best milers; no hiding place as they’re all there to land the big price!

Last years brilliant winner Futura, currently the highest rated horse in the country, is trading as the favourite at this point in time. That doesn’t come a shock, given Futura seems well in himself after an excellent prep run in the Green Point Stakes.

He finished second behind eventual winner Captain America that day, who himself will have a good crack at it today. The son of of Captain Al used to be headstrong and keen earlier in his career, but wiser and more settled now, he’s become a proper Grade 1 horse. He’s likely to attempt to make all.

The outcome of the race could very much evolve around 2014 Durban July winner Legislate. The former horse of the year had a troubled 2015 season, but is reportedly in good shape at the moment. His record as a fresh horse is notably strong and talent wise he’s probably the best horse in South Africa; he has the speed to be a world-class miler, plus the stamina to stay and win over the demanding July trip.

Last years Derby winner Legal Eagle can’t be taken lightly either, although he’s best suited to distances beyond 1.600m and his trainer didn’t make a secret of the fact that this race is a stepping stone towards the J&B Met. However Anton Marcus jumps on board, which is a significant move.

This comes a bit a surprise given that Marcus is also associated with another leading contender, Act Of War. It’s certainly not a vote of confidence in last seasons Cape Guineas winner. Future prospects may have to do with that, so could have the bad draw that AOF has to deal with today. From a similar unkind scenario he stayed on well in the Green Point the last time, though.

Not fully to be ruled out is Summer Cup winner Mister Sabina, who overcame a troubled passage in the big Grade 1. He’s better over further ,however, and may need this run. The Met is his main target.

Only one three year old tries to take on the best in class – Mike De Kock’s Noah From Goa has been a big surprise in recent weeks and month, improving dramatically from race to race. The Dingaans and Cape Guineas winner receives plenty of weight from the older rivals, however it usually is a tough task for three year olds a to be competitive in this type of race t this point of the year.

Prediction: There should be plenty of pace in the race given that a handful of runners want to be up with the speed. Expect Captain America to cross over from his wide draw pretty soon after the start. Legislate on his heels most likely, followed by Noah From Goah. That says Futura shouldn’t be too far off either.

The set-up of the race and the longer straight on the outer course could help those having to hope to feature from off the pace. Still, I expect the race to be won by those close to the speed. That means all the top contenders are likely to be in contention when it really matters and that should make for an exciting finish.

If Legislate is at his best, and he can be as a fresh horse with his record, he’s the winner and hard to beat. In my view, if Futura and Legislate are both 100%, the later one wins. But there are the questions marks about his soundness, given he was lame only three month ago.

So is it wise to go against Futura then? Maybe not, however he’s a short enough price given the competitiveness of this race. Yes, he won this making handstands last year, but value wise I can’t ignore the fact that he has to give 5kg to exiting three year old Noah From Goa.

De Kock supplemented the gelding for the race; you simply have to take notice then. Also he seems to grow fast. I liked the look of him at the Guineas, and his performance was superb that day, finding more once hitting the front. He looks more like a grinder, but that should be a perfect fit for the way I expect this race to be run. At 9/1 Noah From Goa is too big a price to ignore for me.

Noah From Goa @ 9/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Vaal: Flag Of France a big price

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2.20 Vaal: MR 90 Handicap, 1000m

Intriguing contest, though it lost a bit of sparkle due to the non-runners. That’s why Bad Boy Buddy Boy is now clear favourite. Back at this track and on turf he should be a force but has to bounce back from a poor last outing on the All-Weather and has to prove he is up to his current mark.

I feel the value in this race is clearly Flag Of France. Readily available at 6/1, he is a huge price against the favourite given he loves this track and trip and is 2 wins from 4 starts over CD. He has decent form and will love the return to the minimum trip, which will give him every chance to overcome a career highest mark.

Flag Of France @ 6/1 Betfred – 5pts Win

Preview: Champions Cup

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4.05 Greyville: Champions Cup (Grade 1), 1m 1f

Realistically a two horse race, South Africa’s two top drawers meet once again. The score is 3-1 in favour of Legislate. and the one time Futura got the better of him, was in the Queen’s Plate earlier this year when Legislate was not right as we know.

Legislate fought back form his illness, won the Gold Challenge on his return comfortably, beating Legislate in third, for whom it was merely a July prep run, though. Futura ran with loads of credit in the big one subsequently, given the massive weight he had to shoulder. While Legislate surprisingly popped up in one of the hottest sprints of the year where he finished an excellent 3rd.

The trip today should suit both down to the grounds and it will be interesting to see who is the better one. Both are exceptional horses but Legislate always strikes me as the “special one”. He may have a tactical advantage today too, he can make all from the front without a problem and use his superior speed to kick on when it matters.

At the given prices, the value clearly lies with Legislate.

Legislate @ 5/2 Coral – 10pts Win