High Class action at Kenilworth on Saturday
Three graded races will be run at Kenilworth on Saturday – the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas, the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes and the Grade 2 Cape Merchants – all sponsored by World Sports Betting.
However, it is the Green Point Stakes over 1600m that catches the eye. This race contains a potent field with an average merit rating of 112. The Durban July average was 105, the Met 109, the Summer Cup 102, and even the Queen’s Plate was 111.
Despite that, this should be a two-horse race between Highveld visitor Legal Eagle and local star Marinaresco. Based on the race conditions Legal Eagle should be hard to beat. He is the highest rated runner and is 4kg better handicapped than his younger rival. Sean Tarry’s charge had a great warm-up run when a 2.40-length third behind stablemate Trip To Heaven who then franked the form when winning the Merchants at Turffontein.
Legal Eagle won the Queen’s Plate last season and ran second in the Met so we know he handles the course. Regular jockey Anton Marcus is in the irons. Against him is that has had to travel to the Cape.
That is one problem Marinaresco does not have to deal with and he also showed his well-being with an excellent 1.75-length third behind Silicone Valley in a 1200m race in October. He finished last season in style, running a 0.75-length second in the Durban July and winning the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville.
Grant van Niekerk is already comparing him to Pocket Power and if he is accurate, Candice Bass-Robinson’s charge could be the right one.
If you look past them you have last year’s winner, Captain America, Black Arthur, Abashiri, New Predator and Sail South as possible winners.
The Fillies Guineas looks far more open but based on form, merit rating and good draws Querari Falcon could have the edge. Mike Azzie’s charge has beaten most of these runners in the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes at Greyville and from No 3 draw, should do so again.
The main threat will come from She’s A Giver who is a top-class performer, but Gavin Lerena will have to be at his very best to overcome No 15 draw. Maleficent has beaten Querari Falcon and Alec Laird’s charge is well drawn so she is also not out of it.
Duncan Howells is very happy with Dawn Calling’s preparations and from No 4 draw the daughter of Trippi must also be a factor.
The scratching of Red Ray in The Merchants has opened the way for Mayfair Speculators to take the race instead with Seventh Plain.
He had an excellent warm-up run last time and this son of Seventh Rock could score for the Dennis Drier yard.
Jack Milner www.tabnews.co.za