MIKE DE KOCK
Jack Milner: The Grade 2 Colorado King Stakes is often seen as a pointer to the R4-million Premier’s Champions Challenge (Grade 1) on 4 May.
Both are run over 2000m on the Turffontein Standside track, and neither is a handicap.
However, based on the number of top three-year-olds who have been entered for the Champions Challenge this year, the quality of the Colorado King Stakes, to be run on Saturday, looks nowhere near that of the R4-million event.
Many of these runners have squared up time and again over the past few months but perhaps there is one horse who has been the most consistent performer and that is The Dazzler.
In his last eight runs, which go back to October last year, this Mike de Kock-trained runner has notched up three wins, three seconds and two thirds. His worst defeat in that time was a 2.70-length third behind Warrior’s Rest.
Warren Kennedy has ridden him in his last three runs and they seem to well together with a win, a close-up second behind Doosra and a two-length second behind Divine Odyssey last time in the Listed Drum Star Handicap over 1800m.
While on paper he is not the best-handicapped runner – that honour goes to three females and Dawn Assault – on form The Dazzler is well in with the other runners.
Last season’s SA Oaks winner, Secret Potion, is the best-weighted runner and is at least 2kg better handicapped with the rest of the field. Second best is Dawn Assault who has a 0.5kg advantage over Sylvan On Fire who in turn has a further 0.5kg edge over Fort Ember.
Last week trainer Candice Dawson pulled Sylvan On Fire out of the Listed Jacaranda Handicap to run her in this race and it could well have been a good move, not only because the stake money is a lot more but because this five-year-old daughter of Silvano must be a massive contender.
She had all of Cash Time, Dawn Assault and Liege behind her in her last win and other than Dawn Assault, the others are worse off at the weights. Although Dawn Assault is 1.5kg better off, he was beaten 1.70-lengths by Sylvan On Fire and that should only bring them closer together.
In addition, Dawn Assault followed up with a disappointing run in the Drum Star Handicap in which he was beaten 9.50 lengths by Divine Odyssey. St John Gray’s runner is a lot better than that performance and perhaps he just had an off day but Dawn Assault needs to be included in all bets.
In-form Marco van Rensburg takes the ride.
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za