Alice or Heaven?
The big question in the Gr 1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship on Saturday is whether the country’s highest rated sprinter Trip To Heaven will find the 1000m trip too sharp.
The brilliant five-year-old Trippi gelding is likely at his best between 1200m and 1400m and tends to lose a couple of lengths at the start.
He lost two lengths as usual in the Gr 2 Diadem over 1200m last time and also appeared to peck. He then moved over from the inside to the perceived better going towards the outside, so was probably a good six lengths off the lead in the initial stages. However, he hit the front just before the 200m mark, using his phenomenal turn of foot, and went on to win by 3,75 lengths. Over this trip and with the same luck in running he could mow them down again, albeit later in the race. The wind at this stage is predicted to be a gentle south westerly breeze and it might not be necessary for jockeys to seek protection from the wind on the Standside. If that is the case, Trip To Heaven’s number two draw might not be a disadvantage.
S’Manga Khumalo will not be aboard Trip To Heaven as he has been declared to ride the three time Gr 1-winning filly Carry On Alice, who is drawn seven. This would be a concern for supporters of Trip To Heaven, because it implies Carry On Alice is the stable elect. Betting World duly have her as 33/10 favourite with Trip To Heaven 7/2. Carry On Alice is the reigning Computaform Sprint champion, which is run over the quickest 1000m sprint in the country at Turffontein. She has failed twice to win the Cape Flying Championships, beaten into a close up third both times with Khumalo up both times. However, the current fast conditions at Kenilworth will aid her cause and this her third run after a layoff.
The Sean Tarry-trained pair might fight it out.
However, Rivarine is still unexposed and could be a big threat, while a number of others are capable of winning it on their day led by Red Ray, Talktothestars and Gulf Storm.
By David Thiselton
pic: Nkosi Hlophe