Louis Would Be King / Andrew Bon
SA DERBY (Grade 1)
Final Leg of SASCOC SA Triple Crown
26 April 2014
Racing ExpressThis is Africa’s richest race meeting and it’s got the ingredients of a Hollywood epic - Louis The King will be bidding to make South African horseracing history in the R2-million SA Derby, the Pick 6 pool is set to top R5 million and in between the amazing racing action you can take in all the fun of an Intercontinental Village.
Nine feature races will be run including the SA Derby, which shares top billing on a mega racing programme with the R2-million President’s Champions Challenge, one of the country’s major races.
The SA Derby is also the third and final leg of the SASCOC SA Triple Crown, Africa’s richest series of races for three-year-olds. Horse Chestnut is the only horse to have won the Triple Crown since its introduction in 1999 and today Louis The King is bidding to become the second. The gallant Summerhill-bred Pierre Jourdan came bitterly close in 2010 just finding the distance too far in heavy going in the final hurdle.
Winner of five of six career starts, Louis The King skated home by 5.25 lengths in the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Gauteng Guineas over 1600m at Turffontein on 1 March.
Four weeks later he overcame ill-fated Mister Cricket by 0.50 lengths in the second leg, the 1800m SA Classic, and put himself bang on target for the R2-million bonus offered for winning all three legs of the Triple Crown.
Can he do it? Some may say he’s the best horse in the race and the handicappers rate him lengths better than any of his rivals, but that’s no guarantee of fame and glory in a series rightly billed the “ultimate test for three-year-olds”.
Trainer Geoff Woodruff has to produce Louis The King at the top of his game for the third time in just eight weeks, plus this will be the colt’s first venture beyond 1800m.
The good news for his fans is that speed and class rather than stamina are what really count in the SA Derby and it’s very much in his favour that he’s a laid-back campaigner, which will enable jockey Robbie Fradd to conserve his mount’s energy until the right moment in the 2450m marathon.
Tim Woodruff, assistant-trainer to his dad Geoff, has no worries about Louis The King staying and pointed out that once upon a time the SA Derby was thought to be his best chance of winning a Triple Crown leg.
Win or lose it’s going to be nail biting and Louis The King will bring the house down if he wins.
Don’t write off trainer Alec Laird’s charges As You Like and Bouclette Top, who were only 0.60 lengths and 1.50 lengths behind Louis The King in the SA Classic. They are uncomfortably close to Louis The King on that form and Bouclette Top could improve over this longer distance, but neither’s overall record matches that of Louis The King.
Of the others champion trainer Mike de Kock’s runner Ilitshe is improving fast but he’s taking a huge leap in class and has yet to show he can run in this class.
Whatever you do, be sure to catch Champions Day at Turffontein racecourse or on Tellytrack DSTV Channel 239 – you will not see better racing action in 2014!
Extract from Tab News