Friday, 18 November 2011
: The Grade 2 Green Point Stakes to be run over 1 600m at Kenilworth tomorrow is traditionally an important pointer for the J&B Met and this year's field is full of Met hopefuls with only one three-year-old among them.
The Vaughan Marshall-trained Tales of Bravery
is the third-highest rated horse in the field on 111, two below Bravura
, and on October 29 in a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1 500m he beat a few of his opponents here when jumping from pole position, despite returning from a six month layoff. If he repeats that run he has a good chance of winning and in his favour is that he has another great draw of two. Marshall said that he is, “He is very, very well.”
Joey Ramsden has two horses with good chances and both are doing well at home. He said, “I was pleased with Bravura
's comeback run, as he gave weight away and was only 1,7 lengths back. He doesn't normally do it from the front either, he normally comes from a long way off them.” Reverting to his normal tactics will augur well for Bravura
's chances and he has an excellent draw of three.
Ramsden continued, “Lion In Winter
is exceptionally well, but he is a hold up horse and there is always the worry that the line will come too soon. He doesn't have the best of draws so will probably have to come from some way off them.” Lion In Winter will benefit from a good pace.
Mike Bass has four runners and said, “I don't think any of them are the sort that can win a weight for age race over a mile, but they have all had good preparations and are doing well, so we are hoping they will be in the places.”
Bass said that of his charges Kiss Again and Chesalon would be best suited to the mile, while Super Storm “might prefer a bit further” and it would “probably be a bit sharp” for English Garden.
Stephen Page runs the five-year-old Cask
and said, “He's doing well and I was quite happy with his first run back and hope he will run better this time. You can never say a horse isn't suited to a course as it depends on the pace, but I would have preferred this to have been on the New Course with its longer straight, but there's no reason why he shouldn't run a good race.”
Dean Kannemeyer has the only three-year-old in the race, Alula Borealis, who has won three out of four starts including two over this trip, albeit at Durbanville. He was a bit irritated that people were questioning the merit rated 92 Go Deputy gelding's entry and said, “He is going to be getting his correct weight for age allowance and this is a horse with great potential.
“He is not going to just be an ordinary handicapper otherwise I wouldn't have entered him. He can run and is a beautiful mover. I would have preferred a course with a longer run in, but from a nice draw he won't disgrace himself. He will probably go for the Guineas after this, although I think he is more of a Derby (2 000m) horse.”
Justin Snaith has the only filly in the race, the Grade 1 TBA Paddock Stakes winner, Emerald Cove, and he said, “She needed her last run badly and I think will still need this one more race before we see the best of her.”
Glen Kotzen runs five-year-old Paddy O'Reilly and said, “The main thing is he's a very sound and happy horse at the moment as he is normally not the soundest. It is his second run after a rest and the mile is too sharp for him, but he's working very well and if there's a good pace he will be flying at them at the finish.”
Yogas Govender runs the lowest rated horse in the race, the four-year-old First Lad, but was not without hope and said, “His last run was his first since gelding and I was very pleased as he was only beaten by an apparently very good horse and was caught wide which is not his style. He needed it as he returned blowing, but he took the run very well.
“He has come on a lot and is doing very, very well. It's a strong field but he's an improving horse and is drawn well. I'd love to win it, but being realistic I wouldn't be surprised to see him run into the back end of the quartet.”