Thursday, 25 February 2021 14:56


Clouds Unfold 25 Feb 21.1

The curtain comes down on the Cape Summer season on Saturday with a nine-race programme that includes one Grade One, one Grade Two, three Grade Threes and two Listed features.

by Gary Lemke, supplied by

The curtain comes down on the Cape Summer season on Saturday with a nine-race programme that includes one Grade One, one Grade Two, three Grade Threes and two Listed features.
Also included is the Bloodstock SA Cape Yearling Sale Cup ahead of Sunday’s upcoming BSA Sales and the season ends with a Work Riders vs Jockeys Challenge Maiden Plate, which will produce an interesting array of different riding styles.
Although the Gr1 Cape Derby is the highlight of the card, a name that jumps off the pages is Clouds Unfold.
She is the brilliant five-year-old who has won nine of her 20 starts and not only has she won at Gr1 level, she has been competing against the very best, of both sexes. Despite carrying 60kg here and giving weight all round, she looks to be the proverbial good thing over the 1400m from a decent enough draw. After all, this is a Gr3 event so she is dropping down a couple of levels in terms of opposition.
At the weights, she should have most to fear from the three-year-olds, and her stable companions Zarina and Lemon Delight have claims off 53.5kg, as does La Quinta.
With Clouds Unfold out of the way, let’s touch on the main race, the Cape Derby for three-year-olds over 2000m.
A quick word of information though: the weatherman is predicting a gale force south-easter to blow on Saturday. That isn’t good news for front-runners and most jockeys will be looking for cover and hoping to come from off the pace.
At first glance there are small fields and some “good things” in them, but beware the south-easter factor. It can play havoc with the pace of the race and also will make it hard for those who like to be handy, especially given that the summer course straight is nearly 600m running head-first into the south-easter.
Everyone loves a champion and Kommetdieding from the relatively unfashionable stable of Michell Rix and Harold Crawford is just that. Unbeaten in four starts and each win, comfortably by more than a length. He had been priced up and remained odds-on in the build-up but unfortunately was injured in his final workout on Thursday.
His scratching throws the race wide open.
The likes of Rascallion, The Gatekeeper, Linebacker, Legitimate, Russian Rock and perhaps even Dubai Lights have to be considered.
Russian Rock will have plenty of supporters, having won the Cape when switched and flying late over the 1600m. He looks sure to see out the extra 400m here.
The Guineas however was a muddling race and yet it produced the winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate with Jet Dark (5th behind Russian Rock) coming out and landing a betting coup for Snaith Racing. Malmoos, the Mike de Kock champion, was 9th in the Cape Guineas and then won the Gauteng Guineas. So, that Cape Guineas form looks solid, but there’s something that is bothering me.
Although Russian Rock has won twice in his career, on his debut and in the Cape Guineas, he started at 50-1 and 100-1 on both those occasions, suggesting the stable wasn’t overly confident about his chances and amongst his owners are big punters. He won’t have my money this weekend.
Given all 11 runners carry 60kg, the highest merit rating determines the best weighted in the race. They are: Russian Rock, Linebacker, Rascallion, The Gatekeeper and Hoedspruit. I’m looking for The gatekeeper and Rascallion to fight out the finish.
The Cape Of Good Hope (colts and geldings) kicks off the programme and here Ambiorix could beat a small, smart field. He won his debut well and despite being 3kg worse off with Barzalona, word is that he, along with Safe Return, are the two big guns amongst the juveniles in the Vaughan Marshall stable.
Despite the small fields and “bankers” feel to the card, it will be trickier than at first glance. The 3200m Kenilworth Cup for instance has only five runners, and three of them are from Snaith Racing. The pace of the race could well be false and while stable jockey Richard Fourie has chosen the favourite Bayberry, it isn't a confident selection.

Last week’s column highlighted the opinion that Cape racing is the strongest in the country. It was published a day before the Fairview meeting where Cape trainers Candice Bass-Robinson and Glen Kotzen raided PE and won five races between them.

R1: Ambiotrix, Danilo Danilovitch
R2: Winter Mosaic, Live My Life
R3: Strathdon, Bayberry
R4: Sing Out Loud, Capoeira
R5: Clouds Unfold, Zarina
R6: Rio Querari, Kasimir
R7: The Gatekeeper, Rascallion
R8: Take Control, Homely Girl
R9: Queen Niyabah, T’Challa

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