Jack Milner: There is a belief that when Dennis Drier brings his horses to Cape Town for the season they need a run before one can back them with any confidence.
There could be an element of truth in that but on Saturday Sommerlied looks ready to disprove that theory. This four-year-old daughter of Var has been sparingly raced, having only run five times for four wins. Her only disappointing race was over 1200m at Kenilworth in December last year when she faded over the final 200m to finish ninth, 9.50 lengths behind Anneline.
She was rested for exactly six months after that poor effort but came back in the Non-Black Type Durban Dash over 1100m at Greyville and flew up in the closing stages to touch off Sergeant Hardy by a head. Ironically he had his comeback run last week and beat Bold Respect by 0.40 lengths.
Sommerlied’s next start was in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1000m at Scottsville and she again displayed loads of courage to touch off Brutal Force, a Grade 2 winner, by a head.
Sommerlied has a slightly tougher task in her return after three months as she does so in the Listed Laisserfaire Stakes over 1100m at Kenilworth, although in this event she only has to take on members of her own sex.
Drier also has Anime in the race with MJ Byleveld up and she has already had her warm-up race in the Cape when a one-length second behind Hoist The Mast but stable jockey Sean Veale has elected to ride Sommerlied which looks significant.
The biggest threat could be from Live Life who has been running in Grade 1 company. She has not run since finishing unplaced behind Carry On Alice in SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville in May.
Race 5 is a fascinating Pinnacle Stakes over 1400m and some of the best horses in the land will be making their seasonal debuts in this event. Captain America, winner of the Grade 1 Gold Challenge, Sail South, Grade 1 Champions Cup victor at Greyville, and Edict Of Nantes, dual Grade 1 champion, all make their comebacks in this race.
However, the fit horse who is ideally distance suited is Table Bay and he is taken to spoil the party of these top runners.