Variety Club - KRA Guineas (Grade 2)
(Photo : Gold Circle)
“Imagine a day when
Variety Club and Camelot face off…”
The first of the Classics in the Northern Hemisphere’s most important racing countries, the United States and the United Kingdom, were staged on Saturday. The Derby (pronounced “dirby,” as in “birdy” in America) fell to I’ll Have Another, and while his form going into the race was solid, most fans would say they were surprised at the ease of his victory. Last year’s winners, Team Valor, can take solace in the fourth place of Went The Day Well, who put in a dead honest charge. Across the pond, there was any amount of hype around the performance in Newmarket’s 2000 Guineas, of the hitherto unbeaten Camelot, whose late surge for a neck victory suggested that while he’s a good colt at a mile, he could be an exceptional one come the mile and a half of the Investec Derby in June. The beginning of another legend?
But the horse that arguably put up the Classic performance of the weekend was South Africa’s Variety Club, who bolted clear under the Jooste silks, crushing a top class horse in Jackson in the closing furlongs of the KZN Guineas (Gr.2). While this was on the short side for Jackson, (and he’d not been seen since his facile Investec Derby (Gr.1) victory in January,) not even the benefit of a run was likely to have put him alongside Variety Club in this one. Jackson will have his day when they stretch out for the 2000m of the Daily News, but Variety Club looks ready to take on the world at a mile.
Whilst plans for the Guineas hero are obviously fluid, Joey Ramsden, who deserves credit for his handling of the horse, hinted in his victory speech that he was ripe for some globe-trotting, and somewhere in that conversation December’s Hong Kong Mile (Gr.1) crept in. The ludicrous impasse over South Africa’s export protocols at present, means that together with Igugu and Soft Falling Rain, he would have to exit via Mauritius (three months quarantine) before embarking for the UK, and then onto Hong Kong. Nonetheless, these are three horses that will stand their ground with the best anywhere, and if they can overcome the rigours of such an arduous travel schedule, they’ll make us proud down the track. Imagine a day when Variety Club and Camelot face off - all hell will let loose.