Nicci Garner: Trip To Heaven is rated six points higher than his nearest competitor so little wonder bookmakers have made him favourite to score the double in the R400,000 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Trip To Heaven beat Tevez, a 28-1 chance who renews rivalry, in this 1200m race last year before failing by a long neck to get to now-retired stablemate Carry On Alice in the R1-million Betting World Cape Flying Championship over 1000m last year.
He is an easy-to-back 3-1, probably because he never gets away on terms, losing at least a couple of lengths each time, so makes winning hard. He is prepping for the Cape Flying Championship.
Second favourite is a sprinter trainer Candice Bass-Robinson rates very highly, Dutch Philip. The two-time feature winner is on offer at 7-2. The son of dual Cape Flying Championship winner What A Winter, he failed to stay the 1400m of the Cape Classic in his penultimate start. He had seven of these runners behind him last time out, when second in the Cape Merchants.
He has not been entered for the Cape Flying Championship and neither have Bishop’s Bounty, Lord Balmoral, Macduff, Wonderwall and Mujaafy.
Third favourite Always In Charge finished a length behind Dutch Philip in the Merchants and is 1kg better off.
Mike de Kock is thrilled with his three-year-old sprinters and Mujaafy will have supporters going over further than 1200m again. He has placed over 1000m in his last two starts but scored decisive wins in his first two outings, both over 1160m.
Betting for the R400,000 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes (Grade 2, weight-for-age plus penalties) over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday: 3-1 Trip To Heaven; 7-2 Dutch Philip; 7-1 Always In Charge; 8-1 Mujaafy; 9-1 Sergeant Hardy; 11-1 Search Party; 18-1 Attenborough; 20-1 Barrack Street, Wonderwall, Lord Balmoral; 25-1 Talktothestars, Brutal Force; 28-1 Rock Of Africa, Tevez; 33-1 Macduff; 50-1 Bishop’s Bounty.