Danie Toerien: Barend Botes, who co-trains Golden Pheasant with Yolandi Vosloo, believes it will take some luck in running for his charge to make the Quartet in Saturday’s World Sports Betting presents the Gauteng Summer Cup, especially jumping from gate No 12.
He reckons that, with War of Athena, Malmoos, and Got The Greenlight topping the bookmakers’ boards, the rest of the field will be fighting for fourth position.
“Let’s say it’s all form, I think the whole field will be fighting for fourth position,” said Botes.
“I see ourselves, let’s say, about fourth to sixth, but it’s difficult to say. It all depends. If you look at the field, there’s a little bit of speed. Then there’s going to be a whole bunch of okes not knowing when to go. It could end up a mad scramble.”
According to Botes they do have a gameplan for Golden Pheasant, but he expects jockey Ryan Munger to make strategic decisions in running.
“I sat down with the jockey, and we discussed the race. I said to him look, I leave it in your hands whatever the outcome, we can’t determine, but at least we’ve got a gameplan.”
The biggest concern for Botes is that there doesn’t seem to be much pace in the race.
“It’s a different story when it’s a big field and five or six horses go. You know it’s going to string out and you know exactly where you want to be. But here we’re sitting with only two or three horses willing to go to the front, two or three will be trying to sit second or third, and the whole bunch next to each other wanting to get in the same position.
“There’s going to be a whole dam of horses all sitting behind the frontrunners. They’re going to be running hard and it’s going to be a mad scramble.
“Eventually they’ll sort themselves out, but where are we going to end up from a 12-draw?
“If we had a better draw, it would be much easier to be positive, but we can’t be positive from the 12-draw because we don’t know whether we are going to end up running wide, how far behind we will sit, or what dead horses we’ll have in front of us.
“I don’t know, it’s a big race
“If you have the best horse with the right draw, then it’s easy to be confident. But we don’t have the best horse, we’ve got a bad draw, and we’re sitting in a position where there will be a whole lot of horses. Will you get a way through? Will you get the right horse to follow through? This is a tough one.
“I’m leaving it in the jockey’s hands. Whatever happens, happens. At least we’ve discussed it, we’ve got a game plan, and if it doesn’t work out, what can we do?
“Our horse has a strong, short burst. From a good position he could perhaps attack at the right time. But that’s very difficult from a wide draw.”