Sean Tarry’s gelding did have his problems during the Durban season, where he suffered his only two lifetime defeats. In fairness, though, those were both over 1200m, one of them in a handicap where he failed by a neck to give top class Kildonan 2.5 kgs in the Golden Horse Casino Sprint at Scottsville, so Mythical Flight still performed with plenty of credit. There nevertheless is little doubt that 1000m is his preferred trip, and the son of Jet Master made a splendid seasonal debut when he shouldered 62 kgs to an impressive start-to-finish success in a Gr3 handicap over the minimum trip at Turffontein in December. Mythical Flight showed almost surreal speed to win last year’s Gr 1 Computaform Sprint, and he did also capture the Cape Flying Championship a season ago. Unless something goes seriously awry, he will surely be winning the Cape’s only Gr 1 sprint for a second time this weekend.
Should Mythical Flight somehow contrive to be beaten then it may be fellow Gauteng visitor, and Summerhill-bred, Rebel King who will pick up the pieces. This 4yo made a grand start to his Cape campaign when he ran on well from some way off the pace and beat Blue Tiger by 1.25 lengths over 1200m in the Gr 3 Diadem Stakes last month. The former Gr 2 SA Nursery winner has plenty of talent, but while he has won twice over 1000m he certainly doesn’t have the sheer speed of Mythical Flight. Rebel King will be doing his best work late and has an excellent chance of finishing in the money, but he will find it mighty tough to reel in Mythical Flight on 6 kgs worse terms than would apply in a handicap. Indeed, Rebel King finished 2.5 lengths further behind in the Golden Horse Casino Sprint, over a distance which arguably suits him better than Mythical Flight, and now has to meet the latter on 2.5 kgs worse terms.
PE visitor Hear The Drums is the second highest rated horse (another Summerhill-bred racehorse) in the race. Some would debate whether he deserves that, the argument being bandied about with considerable frequency that PE horses are rated too high in relation to those from other centres. There is some foundation for this point of view, and purely on handicappers’ assessments, for instance, Hear The Drums’ stable companion Paris Perfect should have fared a whole lot better than he did in the Gr1 Cape Guineas a fortnight ago. When all is said and done, though, it is both unkind and unfair to try and tarnish the fact that Hear The Drums has managed to win 15 races from 31 starts, no matter where he has been competing. He is a very good sprinter indeed, and one who has shown terrific heart under 63 kgs in his last couple of starts. He has won six times from ten tries over 1000m, and he certainly has a lively chance of at least earning place money on WFA terms here.
The pace will be fast and furious, even if the south-easter is pumping. Mythical Flight is as fast as any horse we have seen for a very long time, while the likes of Ice Wine and Hear The Drums have plenty of early dash in their armoury as well. It is stating the obvious to remark that Mythical Flight is the horse to beat, but we really have no choice. Rebel King, Hear The Drums, Something Else and Ice Wine are selected to follow him home.
Extract by Matthew Lips from Sporting Post 18 January 2008