Met favourite Belgarion heads Snaith attack
CAPE TOWN MET CLASS OF 2021 The final field for the R1 million Gr1 Cape Town Met was unveiled without any pomp and splendour today. That’s the non social nature of the new normal, and sadly even the once popular tradition of the Met gallops has fallen by the wayside. The 2000m contest will be run at Kenilworth on 30 January under weight-for-age conditions and the class of 2021 looks to be a typically high-class representative one. With the return to Johannesburg of
Gauteng star Summer Pudding, the anticipated interprovincial needle has failed to materialise but Cape Champion trainer Justin Snaith nevertheless comes to the party with a powerful three-pronged attack headed by the current favourite Belgarion, past Queen’s Plate and July winner Do It Again, and the Cape Winter Series star, African Night Sky. Snaith, who won his maiden Met with Oh Susanna in 2018, told Gold Circle’s David Thiselton this week that he was very happy with his trio after they put in their final big workouts this week.
“I will be very surprised if Belgarion and Do It Again don’t both finish in the first four. Belgarion’s performance in the Green Point was brilliant but he was running fresh and before that I had never believed him to be a Queen’s Plate horse as it is over a mile and he is by Silvano. We were hoping, make no mistake, but the pace in the Queen’s Plate turned out to be on the slow side and he was shown to not be a miler.”
THE FINAL FIELD R1 MILLION GR1 CAPE TOWN MET No Draw
L J Ferraris
Do It Again
African Night Sky
Queen Supreme (IRE)
K de Melo
Mike de Kock
G van Niekerk
Same Trainer - Not Coupled on Tote (2,6) (4,9) (7,8) In an exciting boost for the Met meeting, Hollywoodbets has announced that its Puntersâ€™ Challenge has been extended to incorporate the Cape Town Met race day - this is in addition to all the usual KwaZulu-Natal race meetings at Hollywoodbets Scottsville and Hollywoodbets Greyville. This special edition of the challenge will give punters the chance to win their share of R1,375 Million in prize money on Met day.
The Puntersâ€™ Challenge is a free to play tipping competition, requiring players to select one horse from each of the carded races on a race day. Points are awarded depending on where the selection finishes, with bonus points being awarded for all winners tipped. The game is open to everyone from the shrewdest form studier, to those enjoying horse racing for the first time. All that is required to enter is an active Hollywoodbets account. In this special Cape Town Met edition,
a total of at least R200 000 will be won, with the winner receiving R100 000, and a further R100 000 shared amongst the rest of the top 50 finishers. In addition, Hollywoodbets has its Million Mania promotion, where R1 175 000 could be won by any lucky punter who manages to tip every winner on the race card.
Read more here
Marcus On The Met
Princess Set To Tease The
Adam Marcus and his Met hope, Princess Calla
Majorca on Met day. But when Queen Supreme bounced clear at the 250m marker, Princess Calla was run off her feet in the 1800m Paddock Stakes and stayed on remarkably well for a 2,30 length third behind the De Kock star. “As she is coming along in leaps and bounds with every outing, we felt it a better option, rather than trying to take on top-class milers in the Majorca from a potentially bad draw, to take on 2000m horses where there is a little more time, as it were, to overcome obstacles.” A multiple Gr1-placed daughter of Flower Alley, Princess Calla will be having only her sixth start and her trainer is adamant that she will enjoy the 2000m, and is a powerful filly who is getting mentally stronger with each run.
Multiple Gr1 winning trainer Adam Marcus only turns 33 next month. But the Milnerton-based conditioner is not shy to tell the world that winning the Met ranks high on his professional bucket list. The 3yo Flower Alley filly Princess Calla lines up at the historic 2000m starting point on Saturday 30 January and will be his second runner in the Cape flagship. It’s no easy task carrying the burden of an instantly recognisable and widely respected name in a highly competitive industry where veterans rule the roost and gung-ho youthful exuberance is seen as over the top optimism. But since starting out with a handful of horses in 2012, Adam has shaken off the pressure shackles to become his own man, running a highly successful boutique yard, where ‘hands on’ is the name of the game. His Dad Basil started the Marcus Racing operation in 2003 after a prolific winning career as a jockey for 30 years around the world – including championship titles in Hong Kong and Britain. He smiles when we suggest Dad has a ‘two length’ start in the Met stakes, having won the race in 1982 with Foveros and again in 1987 aboard
Model Man – two years before Adam was born. “I don’t think that training Met winners is any easier than riding them! But we are going out to do our best with a really class filly – and I believe that, while the race conditions have changed over the years, the fairer sex have a solid proven record in this great race.” Adam has a point – going back over the 21st century honour roll we see names like the 3yo Oh Susanna (2018), Smart Call (2015), Igugu (2012) and River Jetez (2010). That’s just under a 50% strike-rate over the last decade. So why Princess Calla, and how did Adam manage to secure the services of crack lightweight, Grant van Niekerk? “We were obviously restricted in terms of jockey choice under the travel protocols. But we sat down and made our list of who we’d really like to have, if we could! Grant was contacted and offered the engagement – he got back to us within a matter of days to say he would love to ride her. He has been there and got the t-shirt, as it were, with Drakenstein’s outstanding 3yo filly Oh Susanna, who also carried 51,5kgs. So it’s a pleasure to have him aboard.” Adam points out that their original game plan with Princess Calla was the Paddock Stakes route into the
“She is a lovely physical specimen and while I know that she lacks experience, she is coming along with visible mental progress in each run. The 2000m will be right up her alley, and with the handy weight, she ranks a definite runner.” As regards tactics and pace, Adam points out that Princess Calla is uncomplicated and versatile. “It goes without saying that in this level of race, a true pace is preferred. True-run races produce true results. Princess Calla has shown in recent runs that she can be switched off, or run right up there with them. So Grant will have options at his disposal, and again the light weight adds to her arsenal,” adds Adam confidently. He goes on to talk about Jet Dark’s sensational victory in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate earlier this month as a serious wake-up moment for the true strength of this season’s 3yo crop. “I think they are an exceptional bunch this term and that was another factor in leaning owner Mario Ferreira and Manager Des Gonsalves towards having a tilt at the Met.” When asked who he fears the most amongst his opposition, Adam suggests that Do It Again had to be
type of 3yo so I thought that this race will tell us where we stand with Juan Carlos and the Cape Derby at the end of
something of a ‘standout’ on his recent L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate run. “The reality is that with the likes of really top-class horses like Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge, Golden Ducat and Belgarion, they invariably are producing the goods every time. But they are not improving, and that what makes Princess Calla an exciting ‘wildcard’ option here. She is on the up. She is going 2000m for the first time. She is supremely fit. It’s a privilege to have her flying our flag and I am really looking forward to the race.”
February. He is a lovely horse and will improve with racing,” he concluded.
Adam won’t have many other runners on the day, but mentioned his Frankel colt Juan Carlos, who steps out in the Gr3 Politician Stakes. “There aren’t many races for a staying
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Sea Cottage, Syd Laird & Robbie Sivewright
HONOURING A HERO
Turffontein hosts the only stakes feature on South African soil this weekend when the Listed Sea Cottage Stakes headlines the Turffontein Saturday programme.
The legendary champion and newsmaker, Sea Cottage ended his career with 20 wins from 24 starts and was widely regarded as the greatest horse to ever grace the South African turf until Horse Chestnut arrived. But that’s a debate for another day and while he only appeared once on the Highveld, in his final race, which he won by over 5 lengths in something of an exhibition gallop at Germiston’s Gosforth Park, he will be remembered as a great.
Derby 3yo’s a chance to go through their paces over 1800m. It is rare to see two popular champions in Piere Strydom and Mike de Kock teaming up, but they make a formidable combination when they do and recently gelded Al Muthana was not disgraced when finishing fourth in the Gr2 WSB Dingaans last time. The Australian-bred son of Deep Field should be at home over the 200m on Saturday and with Strydom in the saddle should take a power of beating. An obvious danger is Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Second Base, who reeled off a hat-trick of wins recently and has won 4 of 6 starts.
The son of Gimmethegreenlight faces his toughest test to date, but he clearly has plenty of ability and should be up to the task at hand. Sean Tarry and Lyle Hewitson are always a duo to take into account in the feature environment and they team up with Querari colt Shah Akbar, who won a good race using frontrunning tactics over this distance, three weeks ago. The race has a special place in young Denis Schwarz’ heart. It was here as an apprentice in 2019 that he stormed home on Chijmes to register his first career feature success. He partners Foreign Field for Paul Matchett on Saturday.
Saturday’s feature gives the aspirant
Some Good News! Phumelela has announced that total prize money for the 37 feature races, which comprise the 2021 Highveld Summer-Autumn Feature Season, has been increased by 43%.
SA Triple Tiara on Saturday 6 February and continues until Saturday 1 May, when Champions Day will bring down the curtain on three months of quality racing.
Phumelela and the World Sports Betting and Wilgerbosdrift sponsorships have enabled total prize money to be upped by R2,74 million to R9,135 million.
The season kicks off with the first legs of the World Sports Betting SA Triple Crown and the Wilgerbosdrift
A total of R6,4 million was originally allocated to the 37 races, but an increased contribution from
Full details of the feature-race increases – please click here
Emotions Run High
Trophy time! Hayley Dixon, Michael Roberts and Mark Dixon The victory of Mark Dixon-trained News Stream in the Listed Michael Roberts Handicap at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday proved an emotional occasion, the five-year-old breaking through at stakes level five months after the passing of owner/breeder Avison Carlisle on 1 August. Staunch supporters of KZN racing, Avison and wife Mary progressed from racing into breeding under their Kinmount Stud banner and while News Stream is their first homebred to score at stakes level, the progeny of the Qui Danzig mare Rebel Qui in particular, provided them with earlier success.
ON MUISâ€™ BIG DAY
An unraced daughter of Qui Danzig and Gr1 Allan Robertson victress Rebellious, she is the dam of eight winners. Those that raced in the Carlisle silks included Rebel Patriot (six wins), five-time winner Rebellious Streak, Ravenscraig (four wins) and Crystal Ball (three wins).
and the Silvano foal she was carrying at the time became Regal Eagle, a five-time winner who looked destined for the top before suffering a fatal injury at age four. While that was a tragic loss, worse was to follow when Polish Rebel died within a month of her son.
Both Rebellious Streak and Crystal Ball were bred under the Kinmount banner, as was Rebel Qui's best runner, the Mike de Kock-trained Patriotic Rebel, who ran a close second in the 2013 'Consolation' July, the Gr3 Mango 2200.
Today, Kinmount still has two of Rebel Qui's daughters. Unraced Quinarius, a good-looking mare by Requiem, visited Act Of War, thereby duplicating the cross which produced the top three-year-old War Of Athena, while Visionaire half-sister Crystal Ball is carrying her first foal to top sire What A Winter.
Exclusive Patriot daughter Polish Rebel, foaled before Rebel Qui joined Kinmount, was purchased at auction
But back to News Stream. He is the second foal out of the Grey Eminence mare Pricilla Grey, herself a KZN Yearling Sale purchase from respected Karoo breeder David Southey. A half-sister to Southeaster Sprint second Kayhaladin, she was retired to the paddocks after winning once at three, but has not produced a foal since News Stream, for the simple reason that she is currently playing polo! Fortunately, the Carlisles have the option of reclaiming the mare should any of her progeny show ability, so what odds Pricilla Grey returning to Kinmount in advance of the 2021 breeding season?
The stud is now in the capable hands of Avison and Mary's son Keyan. As enthusiastic as his parents, he put together the syndicate that races News Stream. Adding further poignancy to News Stream's success, the gelding's sire Byword is a product of the famed Juddmonte Stud, whose owner Khalid Abdullah passed away a week ago. Trained in France by Andre Fabre, the son of Peintre Celebre carried his owner's distinctive green and pink silks to a signature victory in Royal Ascot's Gr1 Prince of Wales's Stakes. Out of English Broodmare of the Year
Binche and a half-brother to multiple American Gr1 winner Proviso and the Gr1 performer Finche, Byword took up stud duties at the now defunct Middlefield Stud before relocating to Mauritzfontein. Despite his superb credentials, Byword's progeny failed to find favour with the big buyers and rarely graced the country's leading stables. Nevertheless, the white-faced chestnut sired a Gr1 winner in first-crop daughter Camphoratus, who provided Robbie and Shannon Hill with a top level success when defeating Running Brave in the Empress Club Stakes.
Ashton Arries gets News Stream up to win the feature
News Stream hails from Byword's second crop, as does the Zimbabwe-raced Rain Spider, who broke his maiden in the best manner possible when claiming the Listed Champion Juvenile Stakes in just his second start. Paul Peter trains the talented four-year-old Riverstown, a Gr3-placed winner of the rich Grand
Heritage, while Glen Kotzen had last season's promising juvenile Garrulous. Successful in two of four starts, he narrowly missed out on Gr2 glory when going down to Erik The Red in a head-bobbing finish to the Umkhomazi Stakes.
could not resist and he has been exported to Saudi Arabia. Byword is a teaser at Wilgerbosdrif these days.
His owners were made an offer they
The Merits News Stream has had his rating raised from 90 to 96 following his success in the Listed Michael Roberts Handicap over 1750m on the Hollywoodbets Scottsville inner course on Sunday 17 January. Some of this adjustment is due to the fact that he was 3 pounds
or 1,5 kgs under sufferance at the weights. It was runner-up Mr Fitz who was used as the line horse which leaves him unchanged on a mark of 96. In assessing the race this way, both third placed Marchingontogether and 4th finisher Share Holder also run to their
marks (108 and 96 respectively) and effectively become line horses with unaltered marks as well. There were no increases for any horse other than the winner, while the solitary drop was for Wealthy, who is down from 94 to 92.
LIAMâ€™S MAKING 2021 WORK! v
Lockdown travel protocols present major challenges for our jockeys in a world unchartered by the SA Jockey Academy text books.
triumvirate that included Sandile Mbhele and Louis Burke.
One man who had to make a short-term career decision last week is 22 year old Liam Tarentaal. He signed his papers last Thursday and is now a fully fledged jockey – but where to go in a dog-eat-dog world where the superstars are always in demand, and also generally call the shots?
In the face of massive financial pressures facing one of the world’s most respected jockey training institutions, the Academy Milnerton branch has since quietly been closed, Mbhele has proven himself to be a more than capable almost first-choice jockey to the Vaughan Marshall yard while standing in for the injured stalwart MJ Byleveld. Other than that, life generally goes on.
Talking to the Sporting Post from his new base in the Eastern Cape, the Durban-born Liam reflected back on an apprenticeship where he hit the highs of riding winners in Dubai, to breaking his leg and missing out on seven months of valuable exposure and training. We first spoke to Liam over two years ago at the Milnerton Academy, when he was one of a fresh-faced
Life changes quickly.
Liam says that he has lost touch with his former housemates and after spending a quiet but happy Christmas with his family in Durban, decided to base himself in Port Elizabeth for the immediate future. “The uncertainty of life as we know it now means that planning too far ahead
is not advisable. I love the Cape and enjoyed riding down there but when I considered the January population of jockeys based in the Mother City for the summer season features, I felt I would be much better off building a good start to 2021 and working hard in the Eastern Cape.” Liam enjoyed solid success in the Windy City during the third year of his apprenticeship under the flag of powerful yards like Yvette Bremner, Gavin Smith and Grant Paddock, and after having his first ride there a week ago for Hekkie Strydom, says that Sharon Kotzen is also likely to be engaging him this time round. He is staying with his friend and colleague, Teaque Gould, and says that he enjoys the relaxed vibe. “I am freelancing and working hard. Teaque is a quiet living guy and so it’s nice to come home and relax. I have
no distractions in the way of a girlfriend, so can properly concentrate on focussing on getting my career going and earning. I realise I am no longer an apprentice, so cannot rely on others to look after me,” he adds determinedly with a broad smile. When looking back on his short career, Liam says that he has had so many opportunities, he has been blessed with a flying start and it’s only his own fault if he doesn’t capitalise on the value. He rode his first winner on Dunham for Candice Bass-Robinson at Hollywoodbets Greyville back on 7 December 2016 and says it feels like yesterday. Liam is the youngest of a family of two sisters and a brother and grew up in Wentworth. “My Dad used to enjoy visiting Clairwood. It was there that we met a champion jockey and a truly champion person called Garth Puller. He guided me early and got me work-riding. So much valuable advice was given to me – how could a young guy dream of a better mentor early on?” He joined the SAJA intake of 2015 alongside the likes of Ashton Arries, Calvin Habib, Louis Burke, Sandile Mbhele, Dylan Lerena, Khanya Sakayi and Daniel Kotzen. While he missed Mom’s home cooking, he quickly got into the rhythm of a new world. “It was tough but very rewarding,” he recalls. Liam is one of the few jockeys riding in South Africa who has ridden winners in Dubai – including one at Meydan! “I got a major opportunity during my third year when we got word that Grandstand Stables’ Ali Rashid al Rayhi was looking for a light-weight claiming apprentice to join his yard. I was 19 years old and had ridden 18 winners here. I naturally jumped at the chance!” he enthuses.
Liam’s first win in Dubai came abroad came aboard the Rashed Bouresly-trained Murrayfield, in the Harley-Davidson Northern Emirates Handicap at Meydan. He is on record describing it as an ‘incredible experience’ and ‘one he will always remember’. “The roar of the crowd from the packed grandstand was awesome. I will never forget that! I rode my second Dubai winner for SA trainer Ernst Oertel in the School Transport Services 1400m handicap on the dirt at Jebel Ali. I was riding Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda’s 6yo gelding, Epsilon and we won by something like four lengths!” Liam returned to South Africa after a valuable four months in Dubai – even though he concedes that he took some time to adjust to the differing training and racing regimes there. In terms of racing, Liam explained that the biggest difference is that in Dubai they race mainly on dirt tracks.
He tells how the pace on the dirt tracks is ‘very fast’. He also had to get to grips with riding both Arabians and Thoroughbreds, and described the Arabians as a great learning experience because they are different from thoroughbreds and require variations in riding style and tactics. On the racing, he says it was ultra-competitive. “One is competing against some of the best jockeys in the world - both for rides and in races. I am pleased on reflection that I made the most of it and was like a sponge learning and absorbing all I could!” While still on a high after returning from Dubai, it was a matter of months later that Liam was chosen to represent South Africa and jetted off to France to contest the Prix Longines Future Racing Stars at the Chantilly Racecourse. He was following in big shoes with SA past winners Franklin Maleking and
Mpume Mjoka having set the bar. “It was another bit of valuable international experience that I will cherish. One realises when visiting far-flung destinations that we can never stop learning.” While his leg injury set him back last year, Liam is keen as mustard to get going in Port Elizabeth. He hopes that his work ethic and his ability to ride at 52kgs will open more doors. “I will take each day as it comes and do my best. There is a great atmosphere here in Port Elizabeth and the racing community is warm and friendly.”
Kendall Minnie steers Kiss Of Life to a smart win over Bloom and Teaque Gould
TARA – STILL A SURVIVOR! Tara Laing and partners’ confidence in a fleetfooted Coup de Grace filly. who had a more than ordinary start to her career down in the Cape, paid some nice dividends at Fairview on Friday when Kiss Of Life held on strongly to win the R80 000 Aloe Handicap. One of the staunch survivors of the South African training ranks, Tara Laing has ridden the crest of the wave in the good years and been on the receiving end of some hefty blows over the past 5 years. But the fiery Scots’ lass bounced back full of fire on the mid-month January Friday, despite a vastly reduced population of just 20 horses, with a progressive polytrack feature winner, who could be going places. Kiss Of Life has earned at four of her
five starts since winning her Fairview poly maiden at the end of August after four uninspiring starts – said with ‘due respect’ by assistant Gavin Venter – for the Candice Bass-Robinson yard down in the Cape. Kendall Minnie had Kiss Of Life out quickly and she tracked Eternal Hope before surging forward at the 200m marker to withstand a smart late challenge from the favourite Bloom. While no times or margin were published by the NRB, Kiss Of Life had at leat a half length to spare at the line and will now be aimed at the Breeders Plate and Breeders Guineas, according to assistant Gavin Venter. “I’m glad Tara and the owners had the confidence to purchase her. She has continued to improve,” said the veteran former jockey.
A R175 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale purchase, Kiss Of Life was bred by Maine Chance Farms and is a daughter of Klawervlei’s Tapit sire Coup De Grace out of the very well-performed eight-time winning Count Dubois mare, Kinematic Countess. The mare, who raced for Roy Magner, was bred by Pierre Du Toit, and is out of the lightning fast seven time winning National Emblem mare, National Navigator, who was trained in her racing career by Doug Campbell. Kiss Of Life, who races for Paul O’ Doherty, Ian Henson and Tara Laing, has won 2 races with 4 places from 10 starts for stakes of R206 750.
Kommetdieding charges home under Sihle Cele to register his third win
‘KOMMET’ HEADS FOR
Just to prove that Katak-type fairytales don’t happen only once every decade, the Crawford-Rix Klawervlei Farm Sale unbeaten bargain buy Kommetdieding made it three wins on the bounce when he beat a quality field to win the Jackpot opener, an MR 96 Handicap, at his first start beyond the sprints at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Michelle Rix are not rushing with this fellow.
Owned by Ashwin Reynolds, Kommetdieding made a winning debut in the Klawervlei Farm Sale race back in the dark of the Cape winter, and after following up over the 1200m at his first start as a 3yo on 1 December, produced a professional performance to win over the mile on Saturday.
Sitting with a double fisted handful, the son of SA Derby winner Elusive Fort (Fort Wood) extended like he had been there before to beat Firealley by a facile 3,50 lengths in a time of 100,10 secs.
Many local fans were looking for his name in the Cape Guineas starting line-up, but it’s clear that the vastly experienced father-and-daughter combination of Harold Crawford and
Regular pilot Sihle Cele, who just adds his own brand of spice to the fairytale as he really has had very few good horses to ride regularly during his career, tracked the leaders Captain Flinders and Rockin’ Ringo into the straight and let Kommetdieding go at the 300m.
The good-looking winner, a R55 000 graduate of the 2019 Klawervlei Farm Sale, is out of the thrice winning Captain Al mare, Adorable. He has a clean sheet in three starts and took his earnings to R231 000 on Saturday. Kommetdieding, who might not quite boast a name that will roll off the
tongue in Mauritius or Hong Kong, looks a very decent sort in the making. His sire, the Black Swan Stud based champion Elusive Fort has been on a roll over the past 12 months or so, and the son of Fort Wood looks to have a produced a very exciting son in the form of Kommetdieding. Also sire of recent Ardmore Jamaica Handicap winner Elusive Fortune and star Gauteng 3yo Catch Twentytwo, Elusive Fort supplied a pair of winners at Kenilworth on Saturday, with his Narrow Creek Stud bred son Heartbreak Hotel victorious in the second race. The Gr3 Politician Stakes is next on the radar for Kommetdieding. The traditional Derby trial will be run over 1800m on Cape Town Met day.
National Assembly (Danzig – Renounce)
RAFEEF LEADS EARLY CHARGE
OUR NATIONAL PRIDE Unraced Danzig horse National Assembly enjoyed plenty of success during his time at stud in South Africa. Despite starting his career covering relatively modest mares, National Assembly left behind more than 40 Gr1 horses headed by champions National Emblem, National Colour, National Currency, Soft Falling Rain, Enchantress, Forward Filly, Historic Lady and National Bay. Other notable performers sired by National Assembly, whose progeny by
and large were known for their speed and precocity, included the Gr1 winners Big Brass, Bold Thatch, Duchess Daba, Flight Alert, Grand Format, Ndabeni, Secretary General and Trust Antonia. The bay was Champion Sire of 2YO’s three times in South Africa in total, with his stock headed by more than 60 black type winners. The influence of National Assembly, whose relative Philanthropist is the sire of recent Gr2 Glorious Goodwood Premier Trophy winner Golden Ducat, remains to the fore in recent results.
National Assembly is broodmare sire of rising star sire Vercingetorix (Silvano), while his champion daughter National Colour is the dam of another promising sire in the form of Rafeef (Redoute’s Choice). The latter, at the time of writing, is South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire with three of Rafeef’s first four runners having won – including Saturday’s winner Dockofthebay. Rafeef’s dam National Colour, arguably her sire’s finest daughter, was South Africa’s Joint Horse Of The
Rafeef (Redoute’s Choice – National Colour) Year in 2005-2006. Her son won six of just ten starts, and showed his class when he won the 2017 Gr1 Computaform Sprint – on the same day his own brother Mustaaqeem won the Gr1 SA Nursery. While Rafeef is showing promise early on in his stud career, former Equus Champion, and Gr1 Jebel Hatta winner, Vercingetorix, is firmly established as one of the rising sire stars in South Africa’s breeding firmament. Out of National Assembly’s high-class daughter National Vixen (who won five times up to 1400m and ran second in the Gr3 Champagne Stakes), Vercingetorix (unbeaten in South Africa), has already sired 19 stakes horses from his first two crops.
South Africa’s Leading Sire of 3YO’s and Leading Second Season Sire of 20192020, Vercingetorix has already supplied graded stakes winners in each of his first two crops. His first crop is headed by the graded stakes winners African Warrior (Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes), Ikigai (Gr2 Gauteng Guineas), while his second contains the likes of Vernichey (Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship) and Seeking The Stars (Gr3 Cape Classic). Vercingetorix’s second crop also includes the very talented Rascallion – who ran on for third place in the recent Gr1 Cape Guineas, while Gr1 Daily News 2000 runner up Padre Pio is another high-class member of his initial crop. National Assembly, whose daughters
have also produced the likes of champion Laverna, Rafeef’s champion brother Mustaaqeem, and Gr1 winning two-year-old Happy Valentine (sired, like Vercingetorix, by Silvano), also sired short-lived Equus Champion Soft Falling Rain. The latter’s first crop included a pair of graded stakes winners in the form of Montreal Mist and East Cape champion World Radar, as well as Memorial Mile winner Marmara Sea. While Soft Falling Rain’s second crop is yet to yield a stakes winner, this crop has already produced 20 winners, headed by Gr1 Golden Horse Medallion runner-up Pray For Rain.
Zac Purton and Beauty Generation in familiar pose
FAREWELL TO A CHAMPION Beauty Generation, one of the greatest champions in the history of Hong Kong racing, will be farewelled in a special ceremony on Sunday at Sha Tin.
Tin Racecourse – the scene of all of his extraordinary career highlights – for one final appearance before flying to Australia for a life of retirement at Living Legends in Melbourne.
Miler an unmatched three times, won 18 races from 34 starts in Hong Kong and earned HK$106,233,750, making him the highest-ever prize money earner in Hong Kong history.
Twice Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year, Beauty Generation will return to Sha
The New Zealand-bred gelding, who was crowned Hong Kong Champion
The eight-year-old, who finished his racing career with a gallant fifth
behind Golden Sixty in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile on 13 December, bows out with eight G1 triumphs, five G2 successes and three G3 wins. Additionally, he holds two course records at Sha Tin over 1600m and 2200m, having also once posted the fastest 1400m time at the track. No horse in the history of Hong Kong racing has more wins in a single season than Beauty Generation who posted 8 wins through 2018/19. Owner Patrick Kwok said: “Beauty Generation is the horse of a lifetime. He was a champion and we are indebted to the great bravery and determination which allowed him to scale the greatest heights. “His many G1 wins, track records and horse of the year accolades serve as a worthy measure of his phenomenal qualities. “We have been privileged and blessed by our association with a truly wonderful horse who has been cared for so brilliantly by John Moore, David Hayes, Zac Purton, Derek Leung as well as the stable staff. We are also honoured to own such a great horse that contributed in cementing Hong Kong racing on the world stage. “We would also like to thank all the fans who support Beauty Generation
from Hong Kong and overseas.”
“We farewell Beauty Generation with immense gratitude and a pledge to visit him eventually in his new home at Living Legends in Melbourne.”
“He’s the special one really, every jockey hopes that a horse like him comes along in their career and luckily for me he has and I’ve enjoyed the ride – he was a wonderful horse,” Purton said.
John Moore – who is also soon bound for Australia – said: “Any horse who can go from 1400m to 2200m and break a track record must have a lot of ability because champions like him can do it over short and long,” Moore said. “His toughness, his fighting spirit but he was a very sound horse – I don’t even remember times when I had to go in with the vet, he was such a sound champion and that was one of his biggest assets – it held him in good stead throughout his career.” Beauty Generation achieved the equal-highest international rating for a Hong Kong horse, joint at 127 along with Able Friend on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. He was allotted that mark in both 2018 and 2019 and was honoured as the world’s leading specialist turf miler in both years. Zac Purton, who will be on hand to say goodbye to Beauty Generation, remains in awe of the great champion’s performance against an all-star cast of international Gr1 winners from Japan, Great Britain, Australia and Hong Kong in the 2018 G1 LONGINES Hong Kong
“There’s many highlights but if I had to pick one, I’d say it was his 2018 Hong Kong Mile win, he drew a wide gate, they made him work into the first corner and it was a very strong field – Vivlos, as well as a number of other runners were in the race and he won by three lengths eased down.” The ceremony will be broadcast during Sha Tin’s prestige meeting on Sunday which features the Gr1 Stewards’ Cup – a race Beauty Generation won in 2019 – as well as the Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup and Hong Kong Classic Mile.
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Elusive State is exciting on the dirt
SAUDI CUP 2021
LATE ENTRY FEE OF $200 000 FOR MILLARD The US$20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh remains Millard’s preference for Elusive State despite the winner of Sunday’s Class 1 Egret Handicap at Sha Tin not being among the original entries for the world’s richest race. Millard is keen to contest the US$12 million Dubai World Cup (2000m) on dirt at Meydan on 27 March but would clearly prefer the Saudi Cup on 20 February in Riyadh, where a late entry fee of US$200,000 is required to compete. “One would have liked to have gone to Saudi Arabia – the Saudi Cup would have been his race over 1800m and that would be the actual race for him,” Millard said before referencing significant obstacles surrounding travel from Hong Kong to Riyadh.
Millard is confident Elusive State would contend regardless of where the All American gelding heads next after Joao Moreira unfurled a supreme tactical ride on the dirt specialist. “Quite clearly, he gave them a galloping lesson here because it (the race pattern) wasn’t what we wanted,” Millard said. “On the back of this, we’ll be definitely be going for the World Cup instead of the Gr2 Godolphin Mile because Joao feels that with him losing his early speed, he reckons that will be the right race for him. “I don’t think he could have had a better run in than this – I’m quite excited. I think he’s going to be a big runner. “It’s taken a bit of time to get him back into form,” he concluded. Features of the Saudi Cup:
The Saudi Cup (dirt, 1800m) has attracted more than 100 entries headed by a string of Gr1 winners, including Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver, Charlatan, Knicks Go, Addeybb, Mishriff, Japan’s Omega Perfume and Danon Pharaoh.
• A race for thoroughbreds aged four and up, to be run at weight-for-age terms over 1800m (9f), worth US$20m with a prize of US$10m to the winner. On the one-turn dirt oval at King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Riyadh, the
capital of Saudi Arabia. • $10,000,000 to the winning horse. • The second to receive $3,500,000, the third $2,000,000, the fourth $1,500,000, the fifth $1,000,000, the sixth $600,000, the seventh $500,000, the eighth $400,000, the ninth $300,000, the tenth $200,000. • Open to Northern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards and Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds and upwards. • Supplementary entry for non-original entries of $200,000 to be paid on Tuesday February 9, 2021. • Weights: Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards: 57kg / 126lb. Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds: 53.5kg / 118lb. Fillies and mares allowed 2kg / 4lb. • Lasix and Bute will not be allowed in the Saudi Cup.
Mr S J Snaith Mr P A Peter Mr S G Tarry Mr M F de Kock Mr P F Matche�
630 458 407 281 418
Wins Win% 99 64 52 44 42
15.7 14.0 12.8 15.7 10.0
81 49 40 40 44
61 42 49 30 33
Other Places Place %
Win Stake (R)
Total Stakes (R)
34.4 30.8 32.2 38.4 27.0
4,736,225 3,350,700 2,541,050 2,324,100 1,923,450
6,790,300 4,800,800 4,098,450 3,464,925 3,283,925
Other Places Place %
Win Stake (R)
Total Stakes (R)
4,939,150 2,322,600 3,353,500 3,187,650 2,756,025
7,701,450 3,399,400 4,704,300 5,299,075 3,798,025
75 50 42 38 36
217 141 131 108 113
Runs Wins Win%
Mr L Hewitson Mr G M Cheyne Mr S Khumalo Mr M A Yeni Mr A Marcus
798 419 376 625 308
109 46 37 68 46
96 61 44 74 25
119 83 71 69 69
14.9 19.8 18.9 11.0 22.4
118 53 41 81 45
323 160 122 223 116
40.5 38.2 32.4 35.7 37.7
B.T. B.T. Total Runrs Runs AEPR Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Wins Stakes (R) Rnrs %
Klawervlei Stud Wilgerbosdri� & Mauritzfontein Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert) Summerhill Stud (Pty) Ltd Varsfontein Stud
1246 22,315 818 32,767
122 184 97
468 43,986 681 24,366 356 34,358
54 52 35
84 69 45
44.3 28.3 36.1
181 172 118
5 3 5
5 5 8
5,366,325 4,483,388 3,332,700
SIRES Name Master Of My Fate Silvano (GER) What A Winter Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) Querari (GER)
Runrs Runs AEPR 146 130 135 145 158
611 500 512 549 619
30,805 33,377 29,952 27,669 22,575
B.T. Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Rnrs % 51 48 49 52 45
67 63 65 67 60
34.9 36.9 36.3 35.9 28.5
231 145 175 168 208
See all the detailed standings - Click here 45
3 5 2 3 0
Total Stakes (R)
3 5 2 3 0
4,497,525 4,339,050 4,043,575 4,011,950 3,566,925
FA CUP REUNION FOR BIG GUNS
Manchester United host Premier League champions Liverpool on Sunday in the fourth round of the FA Cup and this could prove decisive as to who will go on and lift the iconic trophy this year.
Chad Nagel writes that it's the first time the two teams have met in the competition since Dirk Kuyt scored a late winner as the Reds beat United 2-1 in January 2012.
United’s 20 league wins and Liverpool’s 19 are generally considered to set the clubs apart as the biggest in England, with United also 12-time winners in the FA Cup – having won more trophies in the
competition than any team other than Arsenal (14). Liverpool, meanwhile, have seven FA Cups to their name. Manchester United vs Liverpool | Sunday 24 January 2021 | Old Trafford | 19h00 The teams, who have lifted the trophy 19 times between them, face each other for the second time in seven days after a goalless draw at Anfield in the Premier League. Whoever wins this tie will face either West Ham or Doncaster Rovers in the fifth round and will fancy their chances of making the last eight. Manchester United are currently top of the Premier League table, three points above Liverpool who occupy fourth spot. To Win (90 min) Man United 31/20 Draw 5/2 Liverpool 15/10 Manchester United Manchester United are priced up at 12/1 with Hollywoodbets to lift the FA Cup and give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the first trophy of his tenure at the club. Although the Red Devils are the second most successful side in the history of the competition with 12 titles, only two of those have come since their famous treble in 1999. United will be confident going into the match though as they boast a
very strong home record against Liverpool, are in better form and sit atop the Premier League table. While question marks over whether Jurgen Klopp views the FA Cup as a distraction remain, that certainly isn’t the case for Solskjaer, with the United boss saying earlier this month: “You play football to win trophies, to get your hands on a trophy — even though when you win that trophy you move on to the next one.” The FA Cup tie could see some rotation, with the likes of Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek potentially getting starts. This would be a great chance for either of them to become heroes and fire United to a memorable win over Liverpool. Liverpool Liverpool can be backed at 8/1 to win the FA Cup for the first time in 15 years. Klopp has yet to win the competition, with the seven-time winners having only got past the fourth round once during his five-year reign.
FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League meetings. The Merseyside club have not beaten United away from Anfield in the FA Cup for an entire century (since 1921). However, they remain unbeaten against their bitter rivals since March 2018, with Solskjaer yet to taste victory against the Anfield side in five attempts as manager, once as Cardiff City boss. Prediction: Man United (31/20) Despite the astonishing success Liverpool have enjoyed in the past couple of years, the FA Cup remains a rare miss for Klopp’s team, which for me, shows they may hold little interest in winning this trophy. United are in high spirits after underlining their league title credentials with an impressive run of results and I’m backing them to come out on top at 31/20.
The last time Liverpool won the FA Cup, in 2006, they beat United on the way to the final, winning 1-0 in the fifth round. Klopp will be hoping that will be the case this season as the German looks to taste domestic cup success for the first time as Reds boss. The Premier League champions fancy their chances of winning every time they step onto the field, but they have a wretched record at Old Trafford across all competitions, having only won there twice since April 2004, in 2009 and 2014, despite 19 Premier League,
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