The Green Point Stakes over 1600m sees a small field of six going to post at Kenilworth New Course on Saturday but it is nevertheless the race of the season to date.
The jockeys of the big three involved and the trainers of the lesser fancied three spoke about their respective charges.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe said it was too early to compare the unbeaten Eric Sands-trained star Rainbow Bridge to the like of Pocket Power and continued, “Let him win one Queen’s Plate before you compare him to horse who has won four. It is the first time he is up against this class of field, but he has improved from his previous run and from what he has shown us in work and on the course we are expecting a big run. He is a very good horse.”
Pace will be one of the questions but Fayd’Herbe was not concerned about it, especially as the race will be run on the New Course with its longer straight. The four-year-old Ideal World gelding, whose five wins have ranged from 1200m to 1800m, showed an exceptional turn of foot under a hands and heels ride last time out in the Cape Mile and in his third run after a layoff on Saturday will be running all the way to the line.
Anton Marcus kept his comments on the Sean Tarry-trained Legal Eagle brief as this superstar gelding has spoken for himself so far this season. Marcus said, “I couldn’t be happier with where he is.”
The Greys Inn six-year-old, who is unbeaten in nine starts over a mile, flew home to beat Grade 1 Computaform Sprint runner up Pinnacle Peak by half-a-length over 1160m at Turffontein in his seasonal reappearance on November 15. Then last Saturday he put up a fine gallop under Marcus at Kenilworth. The Green Point is his usual preparation run for the L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate and although that hasn’t stopped him winning it for the past two seasons the opposition looks stronger this time.
Corné Orffer said about Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge winner, the Brett Crawford-trained Undercover Agent, “He is very, very well, everything is on point, he is 100%. He is a very good horse and is only getting better as he matures and I think he is going to have a very good season.”
Orffer said about the pace, “I will discuss it with Brett on the day. He has a big action and can quicken. If he sits behind horses he settles and I have taken him to the front before too.”
Justin Snaith runs the Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again and last year’s Queen’s Plate runner up Copper Force. He said, “Do It Again can win over a mile but is much better over further. He was in quarantine for a month after the Durban season so it’s taken a bit longer for him to get back into racing than it would have, but he is doing very well and I am happy with his work at home and with his progress. But this is his first run back and he is up against the best milers in the country who are all fit and well and set for a titanic battle, so this is a preparation run and we would like a good run and to see him coming out well ahead of the Queen’s Plate and the Met. Copper Force is exceptionally well and we have him in there because on his day he can be a top miler, but he is very hit and miss.”
Last year’s Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile winner Hat Puntano has his first run for Joey Ramsden and the latter said, “He is doing well, I haven’t done much with him yet. Mike (Azzie) did a great job with him but he has been brought here for a different outlook on life and we have freshened him up. He is a big boy now and obviously has ability.”