Jack Milner: Justin Snaith has predicted tomorrow’s Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m at Greyville is going to be “a helluva race”.
He could be right as four of the first five past the post in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate will be lining up for this R1-million race, but he might not get the result he is hoping for.
Do It Again won the Queen’s Plate by a neck from Soqrat with Rainbow Bridge a further 2.75 lengths back in third and Undercover Agent a little over a length back in fifth.
Legal Eagle, who finished fourth, will be running in a Pinnacle Stakes at Turffontein on Sunday.
What could be relevant is that Soqrat and Undercover Agent, winner of this race last year, have been specifically aimed at this race while the other two have the Vodacom Durban July on 6 July in their sights.
At his current price of 4-1 Soqrat has to be great value to pick up his fourth Grade 1 race over this distance. His first was the Premiers Champion Stakes at Greyville, followed by the Cape Guineas at Kenilworth and then the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes at Turffontein.
He was fancied to win the KRA Guineas last month but any chance he may have had was taken away when he lost a length at the start and was forced to race wide from No 12 draw.
Soqrat finished like a train but he was too far back on a night when no horses were winning from the behind. This time he jumps from barrier No 4 and it would come as no surprise to see Randall Simons taking his mount to the front on this occasion.
As was the case with Hawwaam last week, Soqrat was prepared at Randjesfontein. He left for KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.
Trainer Mike de Kock told Gold Circle: “He was very unlucky in that last race from the wide draw and on how the race panned out, if you see how the horse next to him pushed him outward from the start.”
Undercover Agent runs his best races at Greyville and there is confidence from the Brett Crawford stable that he can repeat the feat. However, he could end up playing second fiddle this time.
Rainbow Bridge ran a cracker in the Drill Hall Stakes when flying up to finish a long-head second to Undercover Agent. This is a smaller field and he might not get a good enough early pace to help him in the latter stages. Anton Marcus takes the ride again.
Snaith saddles Do It Again who has not run since finishing second in the Sun Met. He tends to run well fresh and last year won the KRA Guineas over this course and distance in his first race back.
If one is looking for upset material look at the Sean Tarry coupling of Cirillo and Matador Man but Hawwaam does hold the former on the Horse Chestnut run.
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