Two of the best horses in Nelson Mandela Bay face off in the November Stakes, the feature event on Friday’s card for Fairview, where racing is on the Polytrack.
Global Drummer and Marmara Sea have plundered Eastern Cape’s top division in the 1200m-1800m range over the past two years, clocking up 11 wins apiece. Yet, amazingly, they have never clashed before.
The former has been favoured over the shorter trips, but both are serial winners over Friday’s 1400m so one wonders who’s been dodging whom. Both have merit ratings of 110 and carry 61kg in this non-black-type contest.
It’s time for the great showdown, with both geldings coming off rare defeats in their last outings.
The scratching of Wild Coast has removed the principal threat to the two top dogs but outside challenges could come from the likes of Earth Hour, Oscar Wilde, Aqua Delta and Blingking.
Alan Greeff-trained Marmara Sea went down to another Snaith raider, Hoedspruit, in the 2000m Algoa Cup in late October, after finding himself out of his ground from a very wide draw.
From the No 6 stall this time, jockey Greg Cheyne should have him prominent and ready to pounce at the critical moment.
Gavin Smith’s Global Drummer goes from gate 2 with S’Manga Khumalo and will be shot to the front to dictate the pace, as is his wont.
His recent slip-up came in the Cradock Place Stakes at the same meeting as Maramara Sea’s misstep. Talk about stalking each other.
Global Drummer just didn’t seem to have his usual zest that day and Smith will be hoping it was an effort to ignore.
A cracking race is in prospect.
1: 9 Narcos, 1 Tara Iti, 2 Trumps Express, 3 Star Effect
2: 1 Norton Sound, 5 Son Of Zeus, 2 Safari Blue, 6 Constellation Code
3: 1 Rarotonga, 6 Lauretta Mia, 2 Lady Isabella, 8 Meadow Beauty
4: 1 Hikaru, 2 Mount Athos, 11 Green Tiger, 4 Cape Point
5: 8 Senescence, 15 Amberglo Star, 14 Whole Of The Moon, 9 Mayfern
6: 1 Sweet The Sound, 2 Diamonds And Toads, 12 Vizhoe’s Magic, 7 Pam’s Princess
7: 2 Marmara Sea, 1 Global Drummer, 3 Earth Hour, 6 Aqua Delta
8: 6 Jet Mirage, 7 Marsh Marigold, 9 Frankie Two Shoes, 5 Mhlabeni
Pick 6: 1,2,4,6,8,9 x 1,2 x 8,9,12,14,15 x 1,2,5,7,9,12 x 1,2 x 6,7 (R1440)
PA: 1 x 1,2,6 x 1 x 8,15 x 1,2 x 2 x 6 (R12)