Jack Milner: Al Sahem came of age when he won the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2450m at Turffontein last month and now looks ready to take that leap to the next level.
The R2-million Daily News 2000 brings together a number of three-year-olds from all over the country for the first time and with absence of an injured Heavenly Blue, Al Sahem can prove he is at the top of the pile in his age group.
The Vodacom Durban July will be his next mission and there will be many a punter who will be clever enough to get on their smart phone to take the double with Betting World.
Anthony Delpech takes the ride for the Sean Tarry yard and it is understood that this son of Silvano will be his Durban July ride as well.
Right now Sean Tarry is breaking all records and sometimes punters overlook that he has a second horse in the race. But one needs to take cognisance of African Ruler. There will be some question over the distance but studiers of form will have noticed that in his last two starts at Greyville, over 1400m in the Byerley Turk and 1600m in the Daisy Guineas this son of Visionaire was the fastest finisher. He is beautifully drawn at No 3 and has S’manga Khumalo up.
Copper Force was well supported to win the Byerley Turk but found Africa Rising too good although he did reverse the placings in the Guineas. Justin Snaith’s charge also has a good draw and will be ridden by Richard Fourie, who appears to have chosen the son of Royal Air Force over Zodiac Ruler.
Edict Of Nantes won the Investec Cape Derby over 2000m but the race was run in an abysmal time and should not be taken seriously. To demonstrate how poor it was, Mambo Mime, who finished a 21.60-length last in the Sun Met, still completed the 2000m at Kenilworth in a faster time than Edict Of Nantes less than an hour earlier.
He still has a lot to prove.
The Grade Woolavington 2000 looks a lot tougher but Joey Ramsden could have decent sort in Epona, who is unbeaten in four runs over this trip. She had a promising debut in KZN when winning over the trip on the Polytrack off a poor draw and can only improve.
There is a lot of confidence about the chances of Orchid Island from the Mike de Kock yard. The Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic winner is tiny in stature but has the heart of a lion and should not be easily discounted.
Delpech, however, seems to prefer Gimme Six who is unbeaten in her two starts at Greyville with him aboard and definitely needs to be included in all bets.