Saturday’s Daily News 2000 at Greyville could have one of the smallest fields seen for a Grade 1 race in many years.
Only nine horses have been nominated for the prestigious R2-million three-year-old contest, which has traditionally been a key prep race and qualifier for the Vodacom Durban July.
Clearly, most connections have been scared off by the prospect of bumping heads with South Africa’s newest superstar, Hawwaam, from the Mike de Kock stable. Getting walloped by the mighty colt is unlikely to further the July prospects of any rival – and could even damage an impressionable young horse’s confidence permanently.
Final declarations for Daily News – and its supporting feature races, the Woolavington 2000 for three-year-old fillies and the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup – are due this morning and racing officials will be hoping the intrepid few entries all stand their ground.
One question mark hangs over Atyaab, one of the three De Kock entries in the Daily News, who is also among nominations for the Lonsdale. Will he be a pacemaker for Hawwaam and stablemate and fellow hotshot Soqrat, or will he be aimed at the Grade 3 prize?
De Kock has a strong hand in the other features, too, with Noble Secret heading up the betting for the Lonsdale and new stable arrival Blossom among the fancied fillies in the Woolavington.
The three feature races on the day will be raced on the turf, while the rest of the programme will be raced on the Polytrack.
DAILY NEWS 2000 (Grade 1) R2m (Turf) 2000m
(draw, name, trainer, MR)
1 Charles Brett Crawford 104
2 Hawwaam Mike de Kock 121
3 Bunker Hunt Justin Snaith 112
4 Capoeira Andre Nel 81
5 Twist Of Fate Joey Ramsden 117
6 Zillzaal Sean Tarry 105
7 Soqrat (AUS) Mike de Kock 121
8 Atyaab (AUS) Mike de Kock 104
9 Thanksgiving Duncan Howells 106
WOOLAVINGTON 2000 (Grade 1) R1m (Turf) 2000m
2 Bize Alec Laird 97
8 Blossom Mike de Kock 103
12 Chitengo Alec Laird 95
3 Count Dubucks Glen Kotzen 79
10 Front And Centre Brett Crawford 112
9 Madonna Justin Snaith 82
5 Princess Irene Brett Crawford 95
1 Return Flight Sean Tarry 109
11 Santa Clara Candice Bass-Robinson 112
6 Seville Orange Lucky Houdalakis 99
7 Silvano’s Pride Justin Snaith 106
4 Snapscan Glen Kotzen 81
Daily News 2000:
13-2 Soqrat, Twist Of Fate
18-1 Bunker Hunt
28-10 Front And Centre, Return Flight
7-2 Santa Clara
15-1 Silvano’s Pride
18-1 and upwards the others
Lonsdale Stirrup Cup:
13-2 Noble Secret
15-2 Fresnaye, Strathdon
11-1 Atyaab, Roy Had Enough, Roy’s Riviera, Silver Rose, Tirzan
13-1 Gimme One Night
14-1 and upwards the others
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za