the voice of the South African punter

Thursday, 04 January 2018 13:10

Marinaresco is fresh and firing

Marinaresco LK trackwork

Ideally the Sun Met is the best suited race for Marinaresco and the Queen’s Plate will be asking a lot of him but he is fresh and ready…

Such was his reputation that Marinaresco started second favourite when he finished fourth in last year’s Queen’s Plate. This time he is a 10-1 chance despite (or just possibly because of) winning the Durban July in the interim.

“Obviously the Met is his main race as he is better suited to the trip and the Queen’s Plate is a tough ask for him,” says Candice Bass-Robinson. “A mile is tough for him but I have deliberately kept him fresh for this race. He is doing well and he put up a nice gallop on the course just over a fortnight ago.”

Mike Bass’s daughter, buoyed by the strong recent form of her horses and in particular by her son’s miraculous recovery from a frightening attack of viral meningitis, has high hopes for Majorca winner Nightingale in the Cartier Paddock Stakes.

“They went slow in the Victress Stakes and she couldn’t get going in time but she has come through her prep well and she must have a good chance. I actually think she prefers 1 800m to a mile.”

The stable dominates the market for the Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Handicap with Piere Strydom’s mount Horizon favourite at 5-1, Ollivander next on 6-1 and Our Mate Art joint third favourite at 7-1. “I had been struggling with Horizon but I have now got him going well. Last time was only his second run back and the way the race panned out didn’t suit him. He has a short run and he likes to be sat on.

“Ollivander is much better off at the weights than he was when he was fourth in the Premier and he definitely has a shout while Our Mate Art will run a good race if the 1 800m doesn’t find him out.”

BLOB The Queen’s Plate and the Paddock Stakes will attract worldwide interest, particularly in America as they are the first two legs of this year’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.

Racing South Africa seems convinced that the winners of next year’s races, and just possibly this year’s too, will no longer have to go via Mauritius to compete.  It’s latest brochure refers to the adoption of an African Horse Sickness diagnostic test by the World Organisation for Animal Health and adds: “2018 promises to be a watershed year with a drive to bring South Africa into the international arena led by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.”


By Michael Clower

Pic Liesl King

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