|KZN Stallions Represented In The Kenya Derby Tomorrow|
The Star newspaper in Kenya reports that tension is mounting as the 2012 Derby day draws, to be run 1 April at Ngong. “The most talented seven horses have been entered for the contest and it is expected the connections alike will play a big role in determining who emerges the star. Historically, it has been locally bred horses, who have prospered from 2003.
“This, however, was until last year when South African bred horses turned the tables, grabbing the top two places. Even though the number is small this time round, it is still difficult to predict the winner as they all have the gear for the race. Five of the runners met in the Kenya Guineas and only two are locally bred.
“The two highly rated runners come from trainer Oliver Gray’s yard. Spring Valley-bred Got A Hold On Me rated 44 has now been beaten twice in his seven runs.
He is an exceptional athlete, with an appealing physique. Whether or not he gets the hands of a visiting or local jockey, his capability is acknowledged. A brother of last year’s winner Lazrin, sired by Bezrin(USA) his last run over 2,060m prepared him well for the feat. Got A Hold On Me won the Derby trial over 2,060m.
“Trainer Nur Nuno’s hopeful is South African Just Bluffing by Badger’s Drift, another David Armstrong runner and the third highest rated in this field. With just five runs, he’s recorded two wins his last run covered 1,800m in a big race. He is a remarkable runner seen to be a close challenger.”
But in a quiet announcement is trainer Patsy Sercombe candidate, Tiger In The Woods another South African by Woodborough. At 27 in the ratings, this Mrs. Miriam Haynes’ owned mount has had his runs revolve around the 1,400m and 1,600m distances and has two wins. He was third in the Guineas almost four legs behind the winner. Whispers have it that he is the horse to watch even though he is said to enjoy the soft ground more.
Trainer Sercombe was by last meeting still leading the trainer’s standings chased by Gray. Despite having the least runs, South African Pasha Sultan by Requiem rates at 23 with a win from two starts. He, being hot favorite in a race over 2,400m where he got withdrawn before coming to the starts, leaves a gap as to how much he can deliver. He however gets the faith of trainer Joe Karari.
Bezrin(USA) recently arrived at Rathmor Stud after standing last season in the Cape. His daughter Filly Bushwacker, bred by Midlands Thoroughbreds who in turn manage Bezrin, runs in the Grade 3 Jacaranda Stakes in Turffontein today as well as filly Kleintjie, in the Grade 3 Pretty Polly Stakes.
Badger’s Drift, who has sired numerous Graded Stakes winners stands at Wood-Moore Manor Stud. His more recent successes have been Act Of Supremacy, Lord Badger, Catchadrift, Ivory Trail and Hospitality.
Other KZN Stallions with runners on the day include Requiem, sire of Scripture, standing at Spring Valley Stud, Spectrum – a proven sire overseas who is having his fair share of winners in this country now and stands at Yellow Star Stud, and Woodborough who has sired winners overseas as well as Thandolwami, Wood Be Magic and Aim High who stands at Rathmor Stud.
Ngong – Derby Day 1 April
Race 1 – 1000m
WAZ UP SUNSHINE (Spectrum – Pure Reason) bred by W.J.Engelbrecht(jnr) hot favorite having won her only race to date by a full distance.
Race 2 – 1800m
HOPLYTE (Modus Vivendi-Arabian Flame) bred by Golden Acres has good form and should go close.
Race 5 – 1400m
MPOWERED MPIRE (Second Empire-Gold Coast) will open up favorite and with his current form may grab this one.
Race 6 – 2400m
SPUR STEAK RANCHES KENYA DERBY
GOT A HOLD ON ME (Bezrin – Protique) bred by Bruce Le Roux is the odds on favorite to win having already scored 6 times out of only 8 runs.
JUST BLUFFING (Badger’s Drift – Medusa) bred by M.B.& Mrs Pedersen has quality but will need to stay to be involved.
PASHA SULTAN (Requiem – Flow Through) bred by A.L.J Crowder & Mrs V.D.M.Crowder is a late entry so the connections must have strong reasons to be a runner.
TIGER IN THE WOODS (Woodborough – Chatherup) bred by K.E.Latilla has good mid distance form if he stays has a outside chance.
RACE 7 – 1200m
WESTONIAN (Bezrin – Western Truth) bred by Yellow Star Stud opens up as favorite after a close second first time out.
Information source courtesy of The Star Newspaper, Kenya