Jack Milner: Bettors should hold thumbs racing will go ahead at Turffontein on Thursday, because they can cash in on an Anton Marcus and Mike de Kock treble.
Matters did not go the way of the pair on Summer Cup day at Turffontein but that is all history now and an All-To-Come bet of Tilmeeth in Race 3, Nimitz in Race 4 and Hawwaam in Race 5 could get some of the losses back.
Unfortunately, Hawwaam is quoted at 1-10 so perhaps a better option is to take a Pick 6 bankering De Kock’s three and load the last three legs hoping for an upset.
Plans are afoot to get the Joburg horses to Cape Town and with that in mind, De Kock has decided to give Hawwaam a second warm-up run before they head to the Cape.
He will be running in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m on the Standside track and although the four-year-old colt has been allotted 62kg, he is still the best handicapped runner by at least 4kg.
His record is just one second-place short of flawless. He has run eight times for seven wins and that single second behind National Park in the Gauteng Guineas in February.
Once again Marcus will be making the trip from Durban to ride this son of Silvano and he looks at least a division better than his opposition. There are only six runners so the draw is irrelevant but for the record, he will jump from barrier No 5.
The next best-weighted runner is 2018 SA Derby winner Hero’s Honour. He is undoubtedly a decent horse but does seem to have a few issues and has been sparingly raced. Now aged five, this Gary Alexander-trained runner has run just 12 times for four wins and four places. He gets 4kg from Hawwaam but if this had been a handicap that figure would have been 8kg. While he is unlikely to trouble Hawwaam, he is the runner with whom one must take Exactas. Tilmeeth cost R2.6 million as a yearling but looked average after his first two unplaced runs. This son of Captain Al was gelded after that and his comeback run on 23 November indicated he had turned the corner.
Racing over 1450m on the Inside track at Turffontein, he ran on well to go down one length to African Darter. Now he tries 1600m and should enjoy the extra distance. Based on his manner of running he looks better suited to the Standside track and Marcus should be able to place him from No 6 draw.
Nimitz has also raced three times and placed in all three. He was gelded after his last run in which he finished a 1.10-length third behind Canquari over 1600m on the Vaal Classic course. He is a half-brother to both Soft Falling Rain and Let It Rain. He runs again over 1600m and jumps from No 3 draw.