Bonginkosi Nkosi: Hermoso Mundo, Equus Champion Stayer of the year, achieved a tremendous feat last season when winning what trainer Weiho Marwing labelled the “unofficial stayers Triple Crown” – the Gold Bowl, the Gold Vase and the Gold Cup – in his first three starts for the trainer.
This five-year-old son of Ideal World will attempt to go back-to-back in Saturday’s R1.25-million eLan Gold Cup (Grade 3) over 3200m at Greyville. He is very easy to back, trading at 11-2 with BettingWorld.
“I’m very happy with Hermoso at the moment to be honest,” said an upbeat Marwing. “He’s been doing well at home and is as ready as he can ever be for this race.”
Interestingly, Hermoso Mundo has not won a race since his breath-taking 0.15-length triumph in this Grade 3 event last year.
You can put a line through the gelding’s poor efforts when finishing 14th in the Charity Mile (1600m) and then 18th in the Summer Cup (2000m). Those trips were clearly far too short for him and his form confirms this.
He was the fastest finisher in the field one run back when making up a mammoth 13.70 lengths over the last 400m to finish an encouraging sixth in a 3200m contest – returning from a five-month layoff.
He produced glimpses of the old Hermoso Mundo in his latest showing when giving a ton of weight to rivals and still finding a way to finish a commendable second over 2400m.
“I was pleased with his last run,” admitted Marwing, but the trainer chose to exercise caution when asked whether his runner could win the race again.
“I’m hoping he can, but I have to admit it’s a very, very tough field this year,” he said.
It won’t help that he has to shoulder 3kg more than what he did for the race last year.
“He loves the trip and we’ve got Bernard Fayd’Herbe up so we’ll be taking our chances. Hopefully things go our way.”
The trainer is more than happy to be stationed at No 11 in this 16-horse field, stating it makes no difference.
“I’m not worried about much. Not even the draw concerns me. I honestly don’t think it makes a difference over this trip.”