Nicci Garner: Four horses with Grade 1 wins to their credit in the last 12 months have been allotted 60kg in the R5-million Sun Met (Grade 1) over 2000m at Kenilworth on Saturday 28 January.
The weights for the Cape’s premier race were announced on Monday.
Legal Eagle, winner of the 2000m Grade 1 Champions Challenge and the Horse Chestnut Stakes last year, is the highest-rated runner in the list of entries with a merit rating of 123. He won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate for the second year running last Saturday.
The ruling Horse Of The Year finished second to Smart Call in the Met last year and will carry the same weight as Weiho Marwing-trained Mac De Lago, winner of last season’s 1600m Grade 1 Gold Challenge courtesy of an objection, trainer Geoff Woodruff’s dual 2000m Grade 1 Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup winner Master Sabina and last year’s Grade 1 2200m Vodacom Durban July winner The Conglomerate, who is trained by Joey Ramsden.
Legal Eagle is well in with all his rivals under the race conditions (base weights plus penalties for Grade 1 wins in the last 18 months) and is 13-10 favourite with corporate bookmaker Betting World for the 2000m race.
Marinaresco is 3.75-1 second favourite with Betting World and trainer Candice Bass-Robinson’s runner will get only 0.5kg from Legal Eagle. Winner of the Champions Cup at Greyville last season, Marinaresco finished fourth behind Legal Eagle in the Queen’s Plate last Saturday. He is rated 115 and would get 4kg from Legal Eagle in a handicap.
Third favourite at 9-2 is Brett Crawford-trained Whisky Baron, who impressed when winning the 1800m Grade 2 Peninsular Handicap last Saturday. Whisky Baron is rated 110 and will carry 57.5kg.
Justin Snaith’s three entries include dual Grade 1 winning filly Bela-Bela, the 13-2 fourth favourite, as well as It’s My Turn, winner of the 2000m Grade 1 Cape Derby last year. Bela-Bela, rated 109, will carry 57kg, while It’s My Turn has been given the same weight as contemporary Marinaresco.
The field will be announced on Monday 16 January and draws will be balloted on Thursday 19 January after the public gallops in the morning.
Five entries have been scratched – Abashiri, Mauritian hope Parachute Man, New Predator, Black Arthur and Captain’s Flame.
The entries in order of horse, age and sex, trainer, weight and merit rating:
|Legal Eagle||(5G)||Sean Tarry||60.0||123|
|Mac De Lago (AUS)||(5G)||Weiho Marwing||60.0||114|
|Master Sabina||(7G)||Geoff Woodruff||60.0||110|
|The Conglomerate (AUS)||(5G)||Joey Ramsden||60.0||107|
|It’s My Turn||(4G)||Justin Snaith||59.5||106|
|Captain America||(6G)||Brett Crawford||58.0||116|
|French Navy||(5G)||Sean Tarry||58.0||113|
|Deo Juvente||(5G)||Geoff Woodruff||58.0||106|
|St Tropez||(5G)||Joey Ramsden||58.0||92|
|Whisky Baron (AUS)||(4G)||Brett Crawford||57.5||110|
|Brazuca (AUS)||(4C)||Johan Janse van Vuuren||57.5||109|
|Cape Speed||(4G)||Dean Kannemeyer||57.5||101|
|Mambo Mime||(4C)||Dean Kannemeyer||57.5||99|
|Rocketball||(4G)||Gavin van Zyl||57.5||95|
|Macduff (AUS)||(4C)||Joey Ramsden||57.5||90|
|$Gold Standard||(3C)||Glen Kotzen||52.0||108|
|Bold Rex||(3G)||Mike de Kock||52.0||101|
|Heavenly Blue (AUS)||(3C)||Mike de Kock||52.0||100|
|Zodiac Ruler (AUS)||(3C)||Justin Snaith||52.0||97|
|Al Fahad (AUS)||(3C)||Mike de Kock||52.0||94|