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Got The Greenlight aims for grand finale

3 minute read

Got The Greenlight, who was crowned champion two-year-old and three-year-old of his generation, is the favourite to win the G1 HKJC World Pool Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville on Saturday (31 July).

Picture: (Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

He has already bagged two G1s this season - the Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m and the Premier's Champions Challenge over 2000m, both at Turffontein Racecourse.

Victory in the season finale will almost certainly guarantee him the title of Champion Older Horse for this season and perhaps even Horse of The Year.

After his sparkling third place finish behind the country's top three-year-olds in the Durban July (2200m), victory seems to be his for the taking.

His biggest threat is undoubtedly Justin Snaith-trained superstar Do It Again, who has won the Durban July twice and finished fourth in this year's renewal, just 1.05 lengths behind Got The Greenlight, who trailed in Kommetdieding and Linebacker.

It is important to note that Do It Again experienced traffic issues in the G1 Durban July and – had he managed to secure a better passage - he may have finished a lot closer to Got The Greenlight.

Got The Greenlight , trained by Joe Soma, is the top choice because he is arguably better over 1800m.

The two runners most likely to surprise are Catch Twentytwo and Jet Dark.

Trained by Paul Peter, Catch Twentytwo has been runner-up twice in big races recently – first in the G2 Drill Hall Stakes over 1400m and then in the G1 Gold Challenge over 1600m. Both those races were won by Rainbow Bridge, who was withdrawn from the Champions Cup shortly after final declarations.

In his solitary attempt over 1800m, the SA Classic, he ran third to Triple Crown winner Malmoos.

Jet Dark , stable companion to Do It Again , has not raced over further than 1600m, so this might be at the top end of his range. He was Snaith's 'plan B'winner of the Queen's Plate when a slow pace allowed him to attack over the last 300m.

A slow pace here could see history repeat itself, although that is unlikely as Snaith has also entered frontrunner Crown Towers, who will probably be setting the pace – a task he performed in the Durban July as well.

In the Durban July, the chasing peloton stormed past Crown Towers in the last 250m and he had to settle for 11th after building up a near two-length lead with 400m to go.

Expect the same again, except that over this distance Crown Towers  might just hang on for minor money. After all, he did go pillar to post over this course and distance last month when winning the Cup Trial.

Seeking The Stars is another frontrunner who should ensure a cracking pace. Three of his four career wins, including his two G3 successes, have come over 1400m. The question is whether he will run on here.

Trainer Vaughan Marshall has engaged the services of jockey Grant van Niekerk for the ride and his experience could be telling.

None of the others makes any appeal.

Hong Kong Jockey Club

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