Princess Victoria (Saf)
(Photo : Gold Circle)
CAPE PREMIER YEARLING SALE GUINEAS (Gr1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 1600m
17 December 2011
If there’s one spin-off for South African racing in the suspension of our exports, it rests in the quality of our domestic fields, none more so than in the three-year-old brigade. This weekend marks the running of one of our tried and tested classics, the Cape Of Good Hope Guineas (Gr1). Championed over many decades by the Chef’s de Race; names such as Colorado King (1963), Renounce (1965), Hawaii (1968), Politician (1980 and 1981), Empress Club (1992), London News (1997), Jet Master (1998), Horse Chestnut (1999), Captain Al (2000) and Jay Peg (2006), this year’s renewal is about as good as any we’ve known, with Cape trainers appearing to hold the upper hand. Joey Ramsden is of the opinion that his Selangor Cup (Gr2) hero, Variety Club, is the best three-year-old in the land, while there is a body of opinion that believes that honour belongs to Justin Snaith’sOratorio colt, Gimmethegreenlight. But the truth is, Dean Kannemeyer, who between himself and his father, have collared six renewals, has arguably his strongest entry ever, including the as-yet undefeated Divine Jet. It is true that the latter has yet to meet a field of this quality, but the manner of his victories to date, suggests he will be right there when it matters, despite his wide draw.
That’s not the end of the story though, as there were any number of opinions flying around at Bernard Kantor’s excellent party in Robertson on Saturday night, including a powerful vote for Mike de Kock’sSilver Flyer, runaway winner of the Dingaans (Gr2). Let’s not forget though, that we have an unbeaten filly in the field, Princess Victoria, who couldn’t have been more impressive in the manner in which she’s smothered her own sorority thus far, so it will be a measure of the quality of the distaffers in how she fares against the colts on Saturday.
Either way, as disappointing as it is that we’ve not been able to send our usual compliment of horses to take on the world in Dubai and show them just how good we are, there’s consolation for local fans in Saturday’s line-up.
While on the subject of Bernard’s party, we were all there to celebrate the many positive things that are happening in our racing, breeding and sales environments right now, and in the interests of not spoiling the party, we’ll tell you more about that in tomorrow’s episode.