KING OF GEMS WINS CONCORDE
Ken Nicol: The Cape season ends with a bumper race day at Kenilworth on Saturday, as in addition to the on-course Prawn Festival, which always helps attract a large crowd, the Grade 1 ARF Commemorative Cape Derby over 2000m tops the bill.
Delegates from the 38th Asian Racing Conference being held in Cape Town this week will also be in attendance.
The Brett Crawford-trained King Of Gems just gets the vote for the Cape Derby.
This Kingsbarns colt has won over 1600m at Grade 2 level coming from last and gives the impression he will see out the extra, although on breeding that seems far from certain. He had a good final prep against older rivals in a Progress Plate.
The great unknown in this line up is Golden Ducat. This half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winners Rainbow Bridge and Hawwaam stayed on well in his first run as a gelding, 0.5- lengths off King Of Gems.
He is now 3kg worse off with that one but is open to any level of improvement and looks certain to thrive over this distance. It would be no surprise if he were to win this and whatever the outcome, seems certain to make his mark if taken to KZN during the winter.
Rapidly improving Silver Host looks best of the rest, while all of Sachdev, Cane Lime ‘N Soda, Parterre, Super Silvano and Sir Michael would have to be included if looking further.
After the scratching of Run Fox Run the way looks open for Equus champion sprinter Kasimir to defend his Grade 2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes title.
This Justin Snaith-trained gelding ran on strongly for third in the Cape Flying Championship on Sun Met day despite having to switch at a crucial stage.
But he is arguably best over this 1200m trip and looks primed for a huge effort here.
Main danger at the weights is Bold Respect. He was just touched off in the Cape Flying Championship and is now 2kg better off with both winner Russet Air and Kasimir. His sole Grade 1 win was over this distance and he looks a serious threat.
Russet Air and Chimichuri Run are the other class acts and need to be considered.
If there is to be a shock, Fabian looks the most likely source after quickening to win two of his last three runs in grand style. While markedly up in class this rather enigmatic fellow could have plenty more to come and he should be included in bigger perms.
Overall the top bet of the day is Erik The Red in the Grade 3 Kepu Cape Of Good Hope Nursery though, also over 1200m.
This Justin Snaith-trained juvenile colt was super impressive at Listed level on Sun Met day and should have no problem going the extra 200m. He will take a power of beating.
There are a few intriguing first timers, but they will have to be superstars to beat this one at level weights first up and he is an ultra-confident selection. A five-star banker!
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