Bonginkosi Nkosi: If there was ever a man of the match on Met Day, it would without a shadow of a doubt go to Eyes Wide Open.
If there was ever a man of the match on Met Day, it would without a shadow of a doubt go to Eyes Wide Open. Glen Kotzen’s charge made light work of his peers in the Investec Cape Derby, winning by an impressive 1.75 lengths.“I was confident he’d win that race – I believed he was the horse to beat,” said Kotzen. “He lived up to my expectations and I’m happy he came out of it sound. He’s doing well at home, he deserves a long break now,” he said.The longer the trip, the stronger Eyes Wide Open has become, and it’s for this very reason Kotzen believes we are yet to witness the best of the colt’s ability.
In his post-race interview jockey Richard Fourie said, “If this horse runs in the Vodacom July he’ll be a massive contender for top honours,” and the trainer concurs.
“He’s a special horse – we’ll take on the KwaZulu-Natal feature race season next, specifically the Daisy Guineas, Daily News and the Vodacom Durban July.” said Kotzen.The manner in which he won the Derby suggests Eyes Wide Open could have won the Sun Met, but Kotzen believes things worked out according to plan.
“I have no regrets about not running him in the Met. Maybe he could have won, but I can’t think like that.”
On whether or not there is a runner in his stable as good as Eyes Wide Open, Kotzen was quick to respond.
“It has to be Pack Leader. I have no doubts he is equally as good as Eyes Wide Open. I expected him to run second, but he wasn’t disgraced in third – he’ll only get better.”
Gold Standard was expected to run a big race in the Met, however, ended up finishing fifth – beaten 5.55 lengths by Oh Susanna.
“I was disappointed because I feel like he ran three lengths short of his best.”
“We are yet to discuss with the owners to see where will take him next because he does have ability.”