Friday, 27 July 2012
: Leading trainers Mike Bass and Mike De Kock have some top chances on Super Saturday at Greyville this weekend including eight of the runners in the R1 million Ladbrokes Gold Cup.
| Mike Bass with former champion Pocket Power|
Photo by Gold Circle
Bass named Jeppe's Reef
as his leading contender for the 3200m G1 feature despite his wide draw ahead of Croc Valley
and Thanks John
“Jeppe's Reef would have been my stable elect at the weights, so I was bitterly disappointed when he drew 19 out of 20," Bass said.
"He ran a good race to finish fifth last year and has had a good preparation.”
Bass said he was impressed with the condition of the mare Croc Valley.
“She is looking outstandingly well and has worked very well," he said.
“She is rising six and did okay last time over 2400m. She can race handy or from off them, but the most important thing is that she is drawn well, which makes a huge difference.”
Bass said Thanks John's effort in the Gold Vase over 3000m on July day could be dismissed.
“He was widely drawn and Jeff Lloyd was the first to admit that the ride he gave him would best be forgotten. He is also doing very well and is working well.
“He is not easy to place but if he gets into a position from which he can get a blow in, he has a chance. He finished fourth in this race in 2010 and definitely stays.”
The enigmatic six-year-old gelding Golden Parachute
rounds out the Bass quartet.
“He is erratic and not easy to predict," Bass said.
“He definitely stays, but I'm more hopeful than anything else.”
Golden Parachute won twice in Port Elizabeth recently over 2700m and 3200m, but was only 11th in the Gold Vase.
Mike de Kock's four strong contenders are Vettel
, and Captain's Wild
They are difficult to separate although stable jockeys Anthony Delpech (Gorongosa) and Kevin Shea (Ilsanpietro) are both happy with the mounts they have been allocated.
De Kock's Summerveld assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen said, “Gorongosa was a bit disappointing in the July, but she was bumped around a bit. She has never been a good work horse, but she has come out of the July well and is doing well.”
The Irish-bred Montjeu mare has won 10 of her 14 starts and is particularly effective over staying trips, winning seven times over 2400m and further, including twice over 3200m.
Ilsanpietro was fourth last year as favourite but is a 10-1 chnace this year.
Kotzen said that the three-year-old Vettel had pulled up very well from his good Vodacom Durban July effort, in which he stayed on well from a handy position for sixth.
Vettel is the second favourite at 5-1 and will be ridden by the ruling champion jockey Anton Marcus.
His two most impressive career performances to date have come over the tough Turffontein 2600m and over 2500m at Clairwood and looks likely to enjoy this trip.
De Kock's other contender Captain's Wild looks to have enjoyed a fine preparation.
Kotzen said, “I'm sure he'll like the trip as he always runs on late.”
Captain's Wild is a 12-1 shot and will be ridden by Karis Teetan from draw 18.
He can be slightly headstrong in the early stages, but his lead up form is good. In the G3 Lonsdale Stirrup over 2400m on June 2 saw him run on strongly in the straight to finish a close fourth to the Gold Cup favourite Blake and is 2kg better off from that run.
Teetan rode him in his last start in the G3 Schweppes 2200 on July day where he stayed on strongly for fourth.
De Kock has won the Gold Cup twice with Thundering Star in 2007 and Ancestral Fore in 2010.
Sean Tarry will be hoping to reproduce last season's one-two in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup with the same horss Aslan
Aslan won the Gold Cup last year with Kolkata second but the latter is the favoured runner this year after Aslan disappointed in the Gold Vase over 3000m on July day.
Kolkata finished third in the Gold Vase and is 1kg better off in the Gold Cup against the winner Seal.
Colin Scott's charge Sage Throne
is drawing the attention of many experts.
Scott, chasing his first G1 success, is optimistic that Sage Throne will run a cracker over the 3200m at his first attempt beyond 2400m.
“This is his real test, but I believe that this is what he wants – the further the better. He always gets stronger as the race goes on.
“He's fit and well and he didn't have a hard race in the Durban July. Things didn't pan out for him from the draw and he had to come from second last.
“The only little drawback I can see is that Greyville short run-in. He finished very fast (making up over six lengths in the final 400m) when second to Blake in the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup."
Sage Throne, who won the Derby at Clairwood by a neck from Il Saggiatore but was demoted to second on objection, will be Scott's first Gold Cup runner.