Ken Nicol: The R600K Eastern Cape Poly Challenge got off to a thrilling start on Monday as 22/1 outsider Cape Rebel set himself up for a tilt at all three legs by getting up late to deny a gallant Juan Two Three.
The winner is best known as a 14/1600m performer, and indeed had never even competed over this trip since his debut back in May 2015.
However Corne Spies’ gelding was never too far off, and pounced late after class act Juan Two Three had looked set to make all in his first appearance since winning this race a year ago.
The winners Merit Rating can only be raised six points for this victory, and the second and third legs over 1400 and 1600m respectively are also run on the same Pinnacle Plate like conditions.
Which means that Cape Rebel is theoretically well placed to collect the R250,000 bonus for winning all three legs, as he clearly ran miles above his 75 rating in defeating the 106 rated Juan Two Three here in receipt of only 7kg.