Force To Be Reckoned With
Copper Force could be the one to beat in the Daisy Guineas this Sunday.
Royal Air Force gelding Copper Force could land the Gr 2 Daisy Guineas on the SA Champions Season opening day at Greyville on Sunday.
One clue which points to him is the booking of Anthony Delpech at the expense of his Justin Snaith-trained stablemate Zodiac Ruler as well as the Dean Kannemeyer-trained Summer Sky.
Copper Force needed his KZN debut in the Gr 3 Byerley Turk over 1400m where he finished a 0,75 length second to the Visionaire colt Africa Rising. The latter pair are drawn well again, but Copper Force could reverse the form, considering he should have come on plenty for that run and he also beat Africa Rising by 3,9 lengths over this trip in the CTS Mile when finishing runner up.
Africa Rising has a fine turn of foot, but this race will be the acid test to prove whether he is as affective over 1600m as he is over 1400m.
Zodiac Ruler, winner of the Gr 2 Golden Horseshoe and runner up in the Gr 1 Investec Cape Derby, had his first run as a gelding recently over 1400m and was unable to catch Horizon. However, he went down by just a head, and will relish the step up in trip. He has a good draw of five and world class jockey Richard Fourie is aboard.
Horizon should also appreciate the step up in trip as the winner of the Gr 3 Politician Stakes over 1800m. He has a fine turn of foot and is suited to Greyville, as one would expect of a son of Dynasty out of a full-sister to Silvano.
Summer Sky had his first run as a gelding in a handicap against older horses at Scottsville over 1400m and quickened exceptionally well to win by five lengths. He was racing off just an 82 merit rating, but looked the part and a Listed winner has come out of the form. He is drawn in two and Gavin Lerena is aboard is another bonus.
Janoobi has the ideal pole position from which to attempt a repeat of his start to finish win of the Gr 2 Gauteng Guineas. Master of pace judgemen
t Piere Strydom will give him a good chance of doing so.
Matador Man has class and couples a relaxed running style with a fine turn of foot, so should enjoy Greyville. A wide draw is not of much concern as he usually loses a length or two at the start.
Gunner won the Gr 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes over course and distance, when showing a fine turn of foot, but on this season’s form has plenty to find with a few of these.
Secret Captain is merit rated only 84 and has to prove he enjoys this trip. However, he is a dark horse as a well regarded sort who might not have showed his best yet.
Gimme The Stars has won his last four in PE including an easy win in the Listed East Cape Guineas when making up five lengths in the final 200m and winning easily. However, this will be tougher.
Gingerbread Man has won five of his last eight starts, but his last six starts have been on the poly where the standard is generally a touch weaker.
Mess ran above his 70 merit rating when second is a Graduation Plate over this trip last time, but still needs a considerable step up.
By David Thiselton