Thursday, 19 January 2012
: There were few surprises when the final field was announced for the R2.5-million J&B Met to be run over 2000m at Kenilworth on Saturday 28 January with South Africa's reigning Horse of the Year Igugu heading a fantastic field of 16.
| Igugu wins the Durban July|
Photo by Gold Circle
Australian-bred Igugu, the winner of nine of her 11 starts in South Africa including the G1 Vodacom Durban July, has recovered from a slight setback and is a hot ante-post favourite for the finale to the Sizzling Summer Season in the Western Cape.
Bravura, Tales Of Bravery and talented three-year-old Gimmethegreenlight, winner of the recent Queen's Plate, are all in the line-up.
Absentees include Summer Cup winner Dancewiththedevil and Charity Mile winner Piere Jourdan as well as three-year-olds Variety Club and Jackson, who have accepted for the Investec Cape Derby instead.
The barrier draw for the Met will be decided on January 19.Igugu
suffered a setback in training and had to miss the TBA Paddock Stakes, her planned final preparatory run but the Mike de Kock stable says she has hardly missed a beat in getting back into full work.
She will be ridden by her regular jockey Anthony Delpech.
De Kock has also accepted with his Brazilian-bred gelding Ilsanpietro
who won the Java Handicap and finished second in both the Victory Moon and the Summer Cup and will have Weichong Marwing in the irons.
The Joey Ramsden-trained Bravura
, who won the Cape Derby two years ago but has only won two races since has been allocated top weight of 60kg and will meet Igugu on 0.5kg worse terms than in last year's Durban July when he finished seventh.
He ran in last year's Met and was expected to do much better than seventh behind Past Master but this term has won the Green Point Stakes and was fourth in the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate and looks to be back to his best.
He will have champion jockey Anton Marcus in the irons.Tales Of Bravery
, fourth in last year's Met, more recently finished second to Bravura (2kg worse off) in the Green Point Stakes back in November.
The Justin Snaith-trained Gimmethegreenlight
sprung a surprise in the G1 Queen's Plate earlier this month, getting up to beat top class contemporary Variety Club.
He is one of two three-year-olds in the line-up aiming to be the first of their age to win since Badger's Coast 12 years ago.
The other is Greg Ennion's charge Astgro News, who made up many lengths in the closing stages when just failing to catch Polar Bound in an 1800m feature at Kenilworth earlier this month.
The two contenders from KwaZulu-Natal are the Mogok colt The Apache from the Gavin van Zyl stable and the Dennis Drier-trained filly Beach Beauty
won the Champions Cup at Greyville after running a place in the Durban July. He was also placed in the Summer Cup and was narrowly beaten in the London News last time out.Beach Beauty
has yet to finish out of the money in 11 starts and is in top form in the Cape where she was second in both the Victress Stakes and the TBA Paddock Stakes.
* STAR Cape three-year-old Variety Club
, winner of the Selangor Cup, Cape Premier Yearling Sales Guineas and a close second in the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate, heads the 12-horse field that will contest the R600 000 Investec Cape Derby over 2000m at Kenilworth on January 28.
He was entered by trainer Joey Ramsden for the J&B Met but the decision was taken to run the son of Var in the Derby where he will meet his opposition on level weights.
He is rated well above the balance of the field and the only question will be whether he can stay the 2000m trip.
The distance will not be a problem for the Singspiel colt Potala Palace
. His trainer Mike Azzie has declared the best will be seen of him over the Derby distance.
Having won his first three starts he disappointed badly in the Dingaans but according to Azzie there were excuses for that performance.
One of the factors is the Dynasty colt Jackson from the Brett Crawford yard. He has won three of his four starts, the most recent over 1800m in the Politician Stakes where he beat the Mike Bass-trained Solar Captain.
J & B MET FIELD - Run January 28
1 BRAVURA 60.0 A Marcus/Joey Ramsden
2 THE APACHE 59.5 R Danielson/Gavin van Zyl
3 TALES OF BRAVERY 58.0 M Byleveld/Vaughan Marshall
4 ILSANPIETRO 58.0 W Marwing/Mike de Kock
5 LION IN WINTER 58.0 G Hatt/Joey Ramsden
6 SMANJEMANJE 58.0 G van Niekerk/Tyrone Zackey
7 CASK 58.0 ----/ S H Page
8 FABIANI 58.0 S Cormack/Glen Kotzen
9 SUPER STORM 58.0 K Neisius/Mike Bass
10 CHESALON 57.5 K Teetan/Mike Bass
11 RUN FOR IT 57.5 B Fayd'Herbe/Justin Snaith
12 IGUGU 57.0 A Delpech/Mike de Kock
13 EMERALD COVE 57.0 F Coetzee/Justin Snaith
14 BEACH BEAUTY 55.0 A Forbes/Dennis Drier
15 GIMMETHEGREENLIGHT 54.0 P Strydom/Justin Snaith
16 ASTRO NEWS 52.0 R Fourie/Greg Ennion