Bold Ellinore and Baby Jake (mikedekockracing)
Biarritz represents last season’s three-year-old classic form and minus exported Divine Jury and Kildonan he might well take over the mantle as the best horse of his generation. He showed his class after a rest with a big run in the recent Hyperion Handicap. Unbeaten over the course and distance. Winning chance.
Career record: 5 Wins, 7 Places, 15 Runs.
Earnings: R867 505.
2 EMPEROR NAPOLEON
Arguably the best horse in the country not to have won a graded race, Emperor Napoleon returns from a lengthy layoff. With improvement to come, he faces a stiff task from a wide draw at this tight track. He is classy, however, loves the distance and has the services of a master jockey. A must for the Trifecta.
Career record: 3 Wins, 6 Places, 12 Runs.
Earnings: R1 315 610.
3 EQUAL IMAGE
With eight wins and 13 places from 40 career starts, game and capable Equal Image has a somewhat erratic form line, but beware of those days when he comes to the racecourse in a galloping frame of mind. The grey hasn’t won on the inside track, but is a 1600m runner of note and comes into the reckoning.
Career record: 8 Wins, 13 Places, 40 Runs.
Earnings: R1 061 105.
4 NATURAL SELECTION
A year ago Natural Selection was considered an ordinary handicapper, but his form since February 2007 has been nothing short of top class, barring a disappointing run after a rest behind Biarritz in the Hyperion Handicap. He might be one run short of his peak and would prefer further, but can’t be ignored with Weichong Marwing up.
Career record: 7 Wins, 14 Places, 32 Runs.
Earnings: R891 960.
5 BOLD ELLINORE
Bold Ellinore’s connections have decided to keep this quality mare in training for another season and it’s unfortunate that this expert miler is faced with the widest of draws. She needed her last run and will strip much fitter now. She comes into the race with more than just an upset chance.
Career record: 7 Wins, 8 Places, 21 Runs.
Earnings: R886 380.
6 WHAT A QUESTION
Classy sprinter What A Question is a courageous individual with plenty of pace. The concern is that he has failed three times when sent over 1600m. He does, however, give the impression that the trip might be within his reach at this fast track. From an inside draw he is a good Trifecta outsider.
Career record: 7 Wins, 8 Places, 23 Runs.
Earnings: R587 820.
7 SINGING SWORD
A feature race rarely goes by without gritty and competitive Singing Sword taking his place in the line-up. He’s in a big one again here in preparation for the Summer Cup, but will probably need the outing after a rest and needs further. He will be running on, however, and is one for the back-end of Quartets.
Career record: 7 Wins, 10 Places, 27 Runs.
Earnings: R771 855.
8 SURFIN’ USA
A useful and lightly raced individual, four-year-old Surfin’ USA has acquitted himself well enough in top company to be considered more than a rank outsider. He’s had a good preparation, will be one of the fittest horses in the race and from a good draw is one to throw into Quartets.
Career record: 4 Wins, 5 Places, 12 Runs.
Earnings: R289 510.
9 FORT BELUGA
His last run was disappointing, but classy Fort Beluga needed the outing and over-raced early, which should be noted. He is probably at best over this distance, will strip a fit horse and warrants respect. He needs improvement to win, but cannot be left out of Trifectas.
Career record: 6 Wins, 0 Places, 11 Runs.
Earnings: R230 255.
Silverpoint’s last run after a long, injury-enforced rest was good enough to suggest that he is firmly on the comeback trail. He’s going to need another run or two to peak, however, and is better over further. Considering his ability, he is one to follow later this season but might run out of steam in this one.
Career record: 5 Wins, 14 Places, 29 Runs.
Earnings: R1 389 355.
11 SENOR JET
Four-year-old Senor Jet hasn’t won outside of handicap company, but he’s a hard-knocking individual who has enough depth in his form line to be considered one of the best outsiders in this year’s Charity Mile. He is well drawn, comes into the race with a good preparation and should finish thereabouts.
Career record: 4 Wins, 5 Places, 15 Runs.
Earnings: R222 580.
Drumbold has made significant progress since joining up-and-coming trainer John Vos and can be relied upon to deliver his best on the day. His best might not be good enough though, as he lacks the measure of class to make him a serious contender. He is not without place prospects, however.
Career record: 5 Wins, 11 Places, 23 Runs.
Earnings: R394 610.
13 NORTHERN WOLF
Northern Wolf hails from a championship stable, but has several factors against him. He is a 1400m specialist and hasn’t won over 1600m, he is badly drawn and seems to lack the mettle to win at this high level. Perhaps the best his connections can hope for is a place.
Career record: 6 Wins, 9 Places, 20 Runs.
Earnings: R425 130.
14 OUR GIANT
Superbly bred Our Giant looks like a horse who’s going places this season. Beat main rival Biarritz last time only to lose the race on an objection, but is 0.5kg better off now and is still improving. Has the advantage of a good draw and looks set to run a huge race under jockey Anton Marcus.
Career record: 4 Wins, 7 Places, 12 Runs.
Earnings: R304 930.
15 MALTEME (RESERVE RUNNER)
Last November’s Summer Cup winner has been out of sorts in several appearances since and undoubtedly needs more runs to peak. He is not assured of a run, needs a significantly longer distance to show his best and will have plenty to do if he gets a berth in the starting gate.
Career record: 4 Wins, 8 Places, 18 Runs.
Earnings: R1 211 530.
16 SURVEYOR (RESERVE RUNNER)
Eight-year-old Surveyor is nearing the end of a distinguished career. Through jet-setting and injury, he is not the horse he used to be, but as a three-year-old he won two classics over this distance and will have an outside place chance if he squeezes into the final field.
Career record: 10 Wins, 13 Places, 42 Runs.
Earnings: R1 270 610.
Pen Pic coutesy of www.mikedekockracing.co.za