The draw for the 2020 Sun Met was held at the Grand West Casino on Tuesday and broadcast live on Tellytrack.
Ruling favourite Hawwaam gave his backers something to think about in the R3-million Sun Met as he pulled No 12 gate for the Grade 1 race over 2000m at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday 1 February.
Trainer Mike de Kock and jockey Anton Marcus will need to plan carefully how they will deal with the situation but somehow De Kock is unlikely to be too troubled in a 14-horse field.
Rising superstar and L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Vardy will have plenty of followers and Craig Zackey will jump from stall No 9 as he and Adam Marcus seek to complete a fairy-tale season.
The pair also won the Cape Fillies Guineas with Missisippi Burning so they will be seeking a Grade 1 treble with Vardy in the Sun Met.
Defending champion Rainbow Bridge will also be one of the centres of attraction, with English globetrotting champion Ryan Moore up. He drew gate No 5.
Reigning Equus Horse-Of-The-Year Do It Again hasn’t had the best prep, but champions should never be overlooked. He was allocated stall No 11.
Justin Snaith was unperturbed. “Do It Again has always done better from a wide draw, so I’m happy.”
But converse to accepted logic, he wasn’t happy with his other runner, Bunker Hunt, getting stall No 2.
“The inside draw may not be ideal for him, as he probably won’t enjoy a bunch of horses coming over.”
Glen Kotzen’s pair, Eyes Wide Open and Pack Leader, drew gates No 1 and No 10 respectively. But like Snaith he wasn’t too sure about being drawn on the paint.
“The No 1 draw can be tricky but can also work to your advantage, so we’ll have to see. I’ll never complain about being drawn No 10, as Big City Life had that draw when he won the July,” said the naturally optimistic conditioner.
The full draw was:
1 Do It Again 11
2 Rainbow Bridge 5
3 Vardy 9
4 Hawwaam 12
5 One World 13
6 Twist Of Fate 3
7 Head Honcho 4
8 Undercover Agent 6
9 Bunker Hunt 2
10 Eyes Wide Open 1
11 Pack Leader 10
12 Roy Had Enough 8
13 Majestic Mozart 14
14 More Magic 7