Danie Toerien: The big guns of South African racing are emerging from their winter hibernation and on Tuesday punters will get a first glimpse of trainer Andre Nel’s heavy artillery at the start of the season.
After Mike de Kock saddled four runners, including Soqrat and Barahin, in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday, Nel will take four of his fancied runners for their seasonal debut in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1800m at Durbanville.
While Soqrat proved he is more than ready to carry on where he left off last season, Nel will be hoping Kampala Campari will do the same in the headline act at Durbanville where stakes of R120,000 are on offer.
Interestingly, Kampala Campari was last in action in the Grade 1 Champions Cup at Greyville at the end of last season, which was also Soqrat’s last outing before Saturday.
Kampala Campari boasts six wins from 20 career starts, with one of these coming over tomorrow’s course and distance. But this Querari gelding will have to punch above his weight – so to speak – if he wants to beat stable
companion Head Honcho.
Head Honcho is by far the best weighted, carrying the same weight – 61kg – as Kampala Campari despite a merit rating of 129 vs 119. Priced up at 14-10, it will come as a surprise if Richard Fourie doesn’t get this six-year-old
Querari gelding to record a ninth career win from 21 starts tomorrow.
Another interesting fact to note is that Head Honcho’s last run before his winter break was in the Vodacom Durban July – as was Barahin’s.
Nel also saddles Capoeira and Silver De Lange.
Vaughan Marshall-trained Tap O’ Noth returns to action after almost nine months during which this five-year-old Captain Al progeny was also gelded. Like Head Honcho he is a stakes-millionaire, but has never really fulfilled the
promise he showed early in his career.
He could, however, give the Nel-foursome a run for their money.
Although the fields for the meeting are relatively small, punters can still have a lot of fun, especially if Double The Fun manages to do a course and distance double in Race 6, a MR 82 Handicap over 1600m.
This R1-million Twice Over gelding, trained by Justin Snaith, looks like the banker on the card with Richard Fourie up.
The only real threat could come from Brett Crawford’s charge Late At Night. Although he did impress with a
win on debut, he comes off a rest, carries a handful of lead more than the favourite and has not travelled 1600m.
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