Bravura - Investec Cape Derby (Grade 1)
(Photo : Gold Circle)
R2,5 MILLION J&B MET (Grade 1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 2000m
29 January 2011
The TimesBookmakers’ odds for the J&B Met suggest that the 2011 running of Cape Town’s iconic event is as close to a one-horse race as you’re ever likely to get.
As of this morning, marvellous mare Mother Russia, trained by maestro Mike de Kock and ridden by awesome Anton Marcus, was at 14/10. The second favourite was way out at 6/1, and that horse is Run For It, a three-year-old - an age bracket from which very few Met winners come.
At the other end of the age gap is eight-year-old Pocket Power, who has won the race three times and is an abiding public sweetheart. But he’s attracted so few wagers that his price was a generous 7/1. Most pundits reckon he’s over the hill and has lost his finishing kick.
That’s it then. All over bar the shouting, singing, dancing and OTT indulgence at South Africa’s biggest social whirl of the year?
The known knowns on which tipsters base their views might conceivably be trumped by any number of known and unknown unknowns.
Hey, the Cape is, like, a spacey place that the rest of the world finds difficult to fathom, you know.
For one thing, there’s always uncertainty about the pace at which the Met might be run.
The notorious “Cape crawl” involves front-running jockeys using the long Kenilworth bend to slow the race down and try to neutralise the chances of quality horses. The favourites are denied a sustained gallop and must join a mad sprint for the line in which a “roughie”, which might not normally stay a hard-run 2000m, can snatch the prize.
Remember the likes of Alastor and Bunter Barlow?
Then there is the recent phenomenon at Kenilworth of jockeys making a dash for the outside rail as they hit the straight - apparently due to faster going and less headwind. In this kind of scrabble, bumping and crossing can hamper the best.
Nevertheless, we make predictions :
1 POCKET POWER
Still a top performer. No surprise if he wins.
Weight 60kg, Trainer Mike Bass, Jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe, Draw 3
Stablemate of the favourite and likely pacemaker to ensure she gets a true gallop.
Weight 60.0kg, Trainer Mike de Kock, Jockey Johnny Geroudis, Draw 2
Brilliant as a youngster. Back from injury; about to peak. Wide-ish draw.
Weight 59.5kg, Trainer Joey Ramsden, Jockey Glen Hatt, Draw 13
Seldom fulfills his fashionable promise.
Weight 58.0kg, Trainer Mike Bass, Jockey Karl Neisius, Draw 7
Blow us away?
Weight 58.0kg, Trainer Mike Bass, Jockey Piere Strydom, Draw 1
6 IN WRITING
On the wall? On the floor if it wins.
Weight 58.0kg, Trainer Dean Kannemeyer, Jockey Morne Winnaar, Draw 6
Speedy; stamina doubts. Sneaky chance.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Darryl Hodgson, Jockey Gerrit Schlechter, Draw 15
8 MOTHER RUSSIA
Weighted to win. Clever-clever fundis say she won’t stay 2000m, but there’s little evidence to support this.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Mike de Kock, Jockey Anton Marcus, Draw 8
Lousy draw; still has a chance.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Vaughan Marshall, Jockey Marthinus Mienie, Draw 16
10 CELTIC FIRE
Call the cops, not the fire brigade, if he wins.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Yvette Bremner, Jockey Karis Teetan, Draw 14
But it’s summer.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Joey Ramsden, Jockey Andrew Fortune, Draw 9
If you say so.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Dean Kannemeyer, Jockey Muzi Yeni, Draw 12
Right name for the sponsor. Steep task.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Stephen Page, Jockey Richard Fourie, Draw 11
Heard the one about the Irishman?
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Glen Kotzen, Jockey Raymond Danielson, Draw 4
Upset material; pedigree to run on and overcome draw.
Weight 57.5kg, Trainer Mike Bass, Jockey Aldo Domeyer, Draw 17
Wink. A chance.
Weight 57.0kg, Trainer Mike De Kock, Jockey Anthony Delpech, Draw 5
17 RUN FOR IT
Good youngster, light weight. But this movie tends to be age-restricted.
Weight 52.0kg, Trainer Justin Snaith, Jockey Felix Coetzee, Draw 10
8 Mother Russia, 3 Bravura, 1 Pocket Power, 15 Super Storm
Extract from The Times