Gimmethegreenlight winning the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate
Gimmethegreenlight winning the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate

Click above to watch Gimmethegreenlight winning the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Grade 1)

(Photo : Gold Circle - Footage : Tellytrack)

J&B MET (Grade 1)

Kenilworth, Turf, 2000m

28 January 2012

Karel Miedema - Sporting Post
Karel Miedema - Sporting Post

Karel Miedema

Sporting PostA bit of fun and some sticky buns in the morning sun. But we are no wiser off. That just about sums up the J&B Met Gallops held on a glorious morning yesterday at Kenilworth Racecourse.

Besides serving as an important academic and information exercise for those serious about finding a winner for the Cape’s premier race to be run next Saturday, the gallops are really little more than a sedentary stretch of the legs for the big race participants and a pointer to physical well-being.

Sponsors Brandhouse will no doubt be pleased with the naturally fuelled hype and big-race build-up for an event that has become as much part of the Cape’s modern day party culture as the Minstrels Carnival and the Cape To Rio yacht race, until its demise a few years ago.

Just a pity though that the Met Gallops as an occasion were not promoted with gusto to Joe Public. Where were the media invitations and why was there no hype in the Gold Circle controlled newspaper pages - even the day before? The racing operator’s website as well as the rather natty and impressive 2012 J&B Met website make no reference to the Gallops. One only has to begin to make comparisons to the Vodacom Durban July equivalent to understand the disappointing effort. In spite of the apathy, the fair turnout was a reflection of the loyalty of the average racegoer - with the doubtless added allure of a rare free breakfast.

In the absence of stop-watches and any form of measurement, we can also only guage the well-being of the twelve contestants that turned out locally. Looking at their coats and their general movement, they all looked ready in varying degrees. And thankfully Joey Ramsden, Vaughan Marshall and Justin Snaith were the trainers who came to the party and put their runners under a modicum of pressure with their working companions.


First out was Bravura who worked under Glen Hatt with the recently relocated Kannemeyer multiple Group winner Cree Lodge from the 1800m at an easy pace. The two stepped it up a mark or two turning for home and finished together. The Jooste horse looks well and loves the Kenilworth track. Jockey Anton Marcus will not be too perturbed by the 12 draw as he will be ridden with restraint.


MJ Byleveld enjoyed a nice gallop from the 1400m on the back of Tales Of Bravery who went past workmate Mystic Jet and got a reassuring pat down the neck as they eased up past the winning post. This was pleasing stuff from a horse who looks to have had a first-class prep but who has unfortunately pulled a nasty 15 draw.


Emerald Cove and Felix Coetzee galloped on their own from the 1400m. It was a fair gallop from a filly who looked to be carrying a fair bit of condition with only ten days to the big one. She has drawn pole-position.


Glen Kotzen trucked Fabiani from Paarl and Sean Cormack gave the chestnut an easy gallop from the 1000m. He was sweating up a bit, but the morning was muggy. His 14 draw will not aid his chances, but he is gallant and game.


Stephen Page’s longshot Cask worked with apprentice Gareth Wright up from the 1800m marker with work companion Goodbye. Gunter Wrogemann will ride the only Oppenheimer horse to line up in the big race and he has a nice 6 draw.


Alec Forbes worked the Dynasty filly Beach Beauty on her own from the 1000m. Unmiraculously showing no after effects of the Paddock Stakes stroll, she strode out beautifully and has a peach of a draw at 5.


Gregg Ennion’s three-year-old longshot Astro News put in a good workout under Richard Fourie when he worked with Master Plan from the 1400m marker. His draw at 10 will not bother him, but he remains an optimistic entry.


Joey Ramsden’sLion In Winter; has filled out nicely this summer and he worked from the 1800m under Glen Hatt with his staying sort companion Vengence. The son of Western Winter pulled away from the plodding Vengence in the final strides and he looks spot-on to run a cracker from his 3 draw.


The enigmatic Run For It worked over a mile under Bernard Fayd’Herbe with an unnamed companion, and while his rider declared it a pleasing gallop, he was making some strange respiratory noises at the pull-up and punters should probably exercise some caution. He however hails froma top yard, has a jockey aboard who knows how to pocket this race and will jump from a 4 draw.


Another Snaith horse carrying some condition was recent L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Gimmethegreenlight who was partnered from the 1400m by Felix Coetzee, in the absence of big-race jockey Piere Strydom. Coetzee gave the thumbs-up with what he termed an ‘excellent workout’ and said that the three-year-old would likely stay the 2000m of the Met.


Mike Bass’Super Storm will be ridden by Karl Neisius in the Met but MJ Byleveld worked him on his own from the 1400m. The gallop gave nothing away and he jumps from a spooky 13 draw next Saturday.


Karis Teetan knows Chesalon well and he worked with the brilliant Covenant and Karl Neisius from the 1000m marker. Covenant, who takes her chances in the Gr1 Majorca Stakes on the same afternoon, looked superb as she led Chesalon all the way. Chesalon has a tough task as he has pulled the worst draw at 16.


Tellytrack showed four recorded gallops. Mike de Kock’sIlsanpietro, who has pulled a 2 draw and will be the first Brazillian owned and bred horse to compete in the Met, worked on the sand and strode well.


Tyrone Zackey’sSmanjemanje worked on the grass with an unnamed companion and gave little away. We do know that he is racing fit though and will be partnered by young Cape apprentice Grant Van Niekerk.


Igugu then worked under Anthony Delpech on the grass with the top work-horse Kavanagh. She was not entirely impressive and the word is still doing the rounds that she is not 100% yet. De Kock was apparently livid that her jockey had not galloped her according to instructions. Apparently the master trainer wanted her to follow Kavanagh and not make the pace in the gallop. A storm in a tea-cup maybe? With all the hype and tail pulling, punters may just be looking to beat the favourite at this stage.


We then closed the gallops with Gavin Van Zyl’sThe Apache. Apparently a technical problem meant that we only saw him in the ring. Which told us nothing.

With only eight more sleeps to the big one, you can follow all the news and drama in the South Africa’s premier racing publication, Sporting Post.

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