Brazuca hits the Cape
Brazuca makes his seasonal debut at Kenilworth on Tuesday and trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren will be looking to improve on last year’s raid.
The Australian-bred son of Teofilo lines up in Race 2, an Allowance Plate over 1800m and is the horse best handicapped to win the event. Brazuca is no stranger to Kenilworth and one can make a case that his two best runs have been at this course.
Coming off his close second place behind Noah From Goa in the 2015 Dingaans, Brazuca was one of the fancied runners in the Grade 1 Cape Guineas. Unfortunately he found Mike de Kock’s charge too good again but he ran on well to finish second, beaten 0.75 lengths.
On the back of that promising performance, he was strongly fancied to win the Grade 1 Investec Derby over 2000m but he somehow “got lost” after the start and was racing well out of his ground. Fortunately, the pace was a good one and he ran on powerfully from behind but was unable to catch It’s My Turn. In the end, he was beaten two lengths, but two second places in two Grade 1 Classics is not to be sneezed at.
This year the R5-million Sun Met on 28 January is his mission and if he wants to be able to compete against the likes of Legal Eagle and Marinaresco Brazuca needs to put up a good showing in this event.
He made a winning return in a Graduation Plate over 1400m at the Vaal on 17 November following a six-month layoff and is expected to improve this time over a distance to which he is more suited. Randall Simons rode him last time and has made the trip from Joburg to ride him again.
The opposition is quite tough but only one runner really stands out and that is Whisky Baron. He was always touted to be decent but sadly for him he came up on the wrong side of a battle against Marinaresco in both the Winter Guineas and Winter Classic.
A decision was taken to geld him at the end of last season and what a wise move that has turned out to be. Since then Brett Crawford’s charge has run twice for two wins, and last time scored a 3.75-length victory over It’s My Turn, although Justin Snaith’s charge was clearly in need of the run.
Greg Cheyne was aboard in both wins and he is back in the irons on this occasions.
Mambo Mime had a sprint-up on 3 December, his first run since the Durban July, and he should improve over this distance.
Jack Milner www.tabnews.co.za