Super Saturday At Greyville, Including Ladbrokes Gold Cup Grade 1

Super Saturday At Greyville, Including Ladbrokes Gold Cup Grade 1

Heavenisaracehorse, by King Of Kings, bred by Spring Valley Stud. Image:

Saturday will mark another important event in South African racing with the running of the Champions Cup Gr 1, Premier’s Champion Stakes Gr 1, Gold Bracelet Gr 2, Thekweni Stakes Gr 1 and of course the big race of the day – the marathon 3200m Gr 1 Ladbrokes Gold Cup for R1 million at Greyville.

A number of classy KZN-breds or racehorses by KZN-resident stallions will be represented on the day, and David Thistleton of Gold Circle provides us with some trainers comments on their KZN runners.

A few of the horses not mentioned below but running on the day will be the Summerhill-bred Checcetti (by Kahal) in the Gold Bracelet, Love Struck and Shimmer And Shine (both by Kahal) in the Premiers Champion Stakes, Tales Of Bravery and Black Wing (both by Kahal) in the Champions Cup, and Aldora-bred Soul Master in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup. Spring Valley Stud have the likes of Heavenisaracehorse, Buy And Sell, King Of Torts and Kolkata (Requiem standing at Spring Valley) competing on the day.

Gavin Van Zyl – Seal and Heavenisaracehorse

The Grade 2 Mango Gold Vase winner Seal (bred by Bush Hill Stud for Dr Ian Heyns) returned to his Turffontein base straight after the 3000m race on Vodacom Durban July day, despite trainer Gavin van Zyl running his chief operation from Summerveld, and will raid for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup as he did for the Gold Vase.

King Of Torts, a Mogok half-brother to VDJ winner Dunford, bred by Spring Valley Stud. Image: Gold Circle

Van Zyl said about the decision to take Seal back to Turffontein, “Seal does very well in Turffontein’s environment and is used to the tracks there.” The former top jockey has studied the patterns of raiders from the Highveld to Durban over a period of about three decades, going back to when he used to ride for the many times Transvaal champion trainer Jean Heming.

“Mrs Heming never used to campaign in Durban and neither did Ormond Ferraris. I have noticed that horses can raid twice without a problem and it only becomes a problem if tried for a third time.” He pointed to the performance of the Corné Spies-trained Straight Set, second in the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville on May 26 and second in the Grade 1 Durban Golden Slipper over 1400m at Greyville on July day, as further backup to this theory. “And she’s a two-year-old filly,” he added.

Seal, a four-year-old Silvano gelding, clearly relished the step up in trip of the Gold Vase in which he produced a resolute finish, catching In Writing late to win by 0,75 lengths with the rest of the field a further 2,5 lengths back. He carried second top-weight there and was given a three point raise, which means he will have to carry top-weight of 60kg in the Ladrokes Gold Cup.

Seal is drawn wide in 17 but Van Zyl was not too concerned. “We would have preferred a better draw, but he will stay out of trouble from there.” Robbie Fradd retains the ride on Seal.

Van Zyl’s other Grade 1 runner on the day will be the two-year-old King Of King’s gelding Heavenisaracehorse, bred by Spring Valley Stud, who runs in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1600m. This horse is doing well at Turffontein and the form of his maiden win, which came in his second start over 1400m on July 7, has worked out well with three winners having come out of that race in just four subsequent starts.

Heavenisaracehorse is drawn eight in a field that has cut up to just 12 runners and will be ridden by Brandon Lerena.

Gary Alexandar – Pierre Jourdan

Soul Master, bred by Aldora Stud. Image: JC Photos

The Gary Alexander-trained Pierre Jourdan (Summerhill Stud) came out of his Vodacom Durban July run well and will a be leading contender for the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m on Super Saturday this weekend at Greyville, which features four Grade 1s including the Ladbrokes Gold Cup.

Alexander said, “He’s come out of the race well and at the weights he has a shout. He’s fit and we’ve freshened him up. The main thing is he’s looking good and moving well. If he’s moving well he’s always dangerous.”

The five-year-old Parade Leader gelding didn’t enjoy the best of luck in the July.

Alexander said, “He hit his fetlock when he jumped, so it took a stride or two for him to get going and by that stage Robbie had no alternative but to go on to the fence behind them. He ran on well the whole way up the straight and considering the tailwind did well to finish just five lengths back.” Pierre Jourdan will jump from draw eleven and with 60kg on his back off a merit rating of 112 he is the third best in at the weights in the conditions event. The trip will suit him well and Robbie Fradd keeps the ride.

Sean Tarry – Kolkata and Buy And Sell

Kolkata will be running in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup. A four-year-old Requiem gelding, finished a 3,25 length third in the Gold Vase and will now be 1kg better off with the winner Seal.

He looks to have enjoyed the perfect preparation and is drawn well in six with Tarry’s Vodacom Durban July winning jockey Pierre Strydom aboard. Tarry said, “The draw gives him a chance to do whatever he wants to do.”

Kolkata by Requiem, who stands at Spring Valley Stud. Image: Gold Circle

Buy And Sell (Spring Valley Stud) will be contesting the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m, and Tarry’s eight-year-old National Emblem gelding Buy And Sell won this race in 2008, so will enjoy the trip. “He is in good shape and at least if he gets to the front he will ensure a good gallop.”

Corrine Bestel – Sun City

Corinne Bestel said that her Ladbrokes Gold Cup contender Sun City (Summerhill Stud) had come on from his last outing but she does have her doubts about his suitability to the tight Greyville circuit and he also has a very tough draw of 20 to contend with over the marathon 3200m journey. The seven-year-old Kahal gelding finished a 6,5 length seventh in the Grade 2 Mango Gold Vase on Vodacom Durban July day, where he was also drawn widest of all, and will now be 1,5kg better off with the winner of that race, Seal.

“He ran a very good race there,” said Bestel. “The jockey elected to take him down the inside where he had no company and that cost him a bit of ground. He otherwise might have run a place.” Bestel said that he was definitely a much fitter horse now than he was for that race. She also reckoned that his Gold Cup jockey Glen Hatt would suit him down to the ground, for as a type that always did his best work late he needed a vigorous ride to get him into the race. However, she added that he would prefer a longer straight. Sun City has won four times over staying trip from 2400-2500m and might appreciate rain as he has won in soft going before.

Duncan Howells – King Of Torts

Duncan Howells described his two-year-old Mogok colt King Of Torts (bred by Spring Valley Stud – and a half-brother to Vodacom Durban July winner Dunford) as a “very good horse”, who deserved his place in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes field on Super Saturday at Greyville this weekend. “He is very well and has improved since his last run,” he said. In his last start he pulverised a Maiden Juvenile Plate field over 1600m at Scottsville by 6,75 lengths.

In his penultimate start King Of Torts was beaten 1,75 lengths over the Scottsville 1600m by another Premier’s candidate Act Fast. However, Howells was confident he could reverse that form. “He had hardly done anything before that race,” he said.

Sun City, by Kahal, bred by Summerhill Stud. Image: Equine Edge/Gold Circle

He continued, “It will be a hard task for him, but it will be a challenge. It’s difficult to tell who is good and who isn’t good at this stage but I think he is right up there with them. The one negative is that he is still mentally quite immature. He is the type of horse that will be better as a three-year-old and four-year-old. But he deserves his place in the race and we will see what he does.” Howells has a fine recent record at this meeting having won the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes with Gypsy’s Warning in 2008 and last year he finished third in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup with Knight To Remember and second in the Thekwini with Felix The Cat.

Kumaran Naidoo – King’s Temptress

Kumaran Naidoo is very happy with King’s Temptress (by King Of Kings) ahead of the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes over 1600m at Greyville’s Super Saturday Ladbrokes Gold Cup racemeeting this weekend.

Naidoo said, “She is doing very well and is coming along nicely. She has made lot of improvement since her last start. Nothing went right for her in her first start down here but she bounced back nicely last time. She was very green in that race, but ran on strongly. She is looking for this trip and I think the form of that last race is definitely going to prove very strong.”

The two-year-old King Of Kings filly caused a sensation when winning the Grade 2 Fillies Nursery on her debut in April as an unconsidered 150-1 raider from the Kimberly yard of Coerie Lensley. After the race she was moved to Naidoo’s Summerveld yard, in order to be closer to the Champions Season action, by owner Colin Govender. She has had two starts for Naidoo, running a good fourth at odds of 13-1 in the Grade 1 Durban Golden Slipper over 1400m on Vodacom Durban July day. In the Golden Horseshoe she beat the Allan Robertson winner All Is Secret, who finished in sixth place, 1,85 lengths behind her.

The top six in that race are all touted sorts. The rest of the field were more than six lengths behind this bunch and spread out like the washing, so the form is likely to prove very strong. However, King’s Temptress will have to reverse form with Straight Set, who beat her by 3,75 lengths. Nooresh Juglall has retained the ride and she will jump from draw seven in the eleven horse field, not as good as her draw of two last time.

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