Ken Nicol: The only Black-Type race in South Africa over the next few weeks is the Listed Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth on Saturday for the newly turned three-year-olds.
This race has unveiled many a top sort in the past, and Captain Tatters looks ready to fit that billing.
Justin Snaith’s charge beat subsequent Grade 3 Langerman winner Snow Report comfortably on debut, and was then far from disgraced when runner-up to undefeated and Hong Kong-bound Armando in the Listed Somerset 1200 over this course and distance.
Rested and gelded since, Richard Fourie’s mount will be difficult to deny in this event if near peak fitness after four months off.
Finding Camelot, King Of Gems and Constable look most capable of giving cheek.
As per normal Fourie and Snaith look a combination worth following. Double Reward and Good To Know make winning appeal in Races 3 and 4 respectively.
The former was a good third in her sprint debut, and now goes over a more suitable 1400m with Fourie up.
But any betting support for Brett Crawford’s Flame Tree should be respected. She is the third raced foal of Crimson Blossom, and the first two were Listed winner Brilliant Crimson, and recent Grade 3 Gold Cup heroine Dynasty’s Blossom.
Good To Know is now drawn on the paint after pulling wide gates in her last two. She ran on steadily from the rear last time, and her first run with Fourie up could well coincide with her exiting the maiden ranks.
But perhaps the best bet on the card is Vaughan Marshall’s exciting youngster Silver Operator in Race 5. After bolting up on debut he was pitched straight into the Langerman. Sent off 2-1 favourite he would surely have got to winner Snow Report in another stride, but was denied by a short head.
He now faces some fair older rivals in this MR 96 Handicap over 1600m, but with a mere 54kg this Silvano colt has to take a power of beating.
“He’s very talented, but it’s not the ideal race for him, as he also faces some decent sorts like Belgarion on handicap terms. I would have preferred a Novice or Graduation but there are none available” said Marshall on Thursday
On potential top weight Belgarion is the “wild card”. After winning his first two runs he was third to Twist Of Fate in the Grade 3 Politician Stakes.
Rested since January, he has also been gelded in the interim, and if now ready to fulfil that early potential could rate a danger.
Another youngster to look out for is Yorktown in the seventh. The full brother to Grade 1 winner Lady Of the House could not have impressed more in his maiden win.
He can expect cheek from Frank Lloyd Wright though. Snaith’s gelding has won his last two unopposed from the front and will be there for free again from the inside draw.
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za