One of the greats of the South African turf steps out at Kenilworth on Wednesday, starting another campaign at the highest level.
Do It Again, dual Durban July winner and sometime Equus Horse of the Year, stretches his legs in an 1800m Pinnacle Stakes and, while he might be seven years old and returning from a four-month break, you wouldn’t bet against him.
His trainer, Justin Snaith, spoke last term about how the champ had lost little of his class or appetite for battle. This race will show us if that is still the case.
Do It Again last won in Durban in May – in another Pinnacle affair – before placing fourth in the 2021 July – following his two victories and a third. He then went down by less than a length to upstart Jet Dark in the Champions Cup at Greyville.
An educated guess would make him more than up for another crack at the big prizes of the Cape summer season. Will it be his swansong? Probably not if he can keep mixing it with the young guns.
In-form Grant van Niekerk takes the reins for the next action-packed chapter.
Do It Again’s opposition on Wednesday won’t be stepping aside in respect and deference, though.
The biggest threat appears to be Vaughan Marshall-trained Rascallion, who was fifth in the July, half a length behind Do It Again. One suspects this four-year-old’s best days are still to come. He is just a two-time winner, thanks to being pitched into the top grade over the past year – and doing pretty well, without getting into the winner’s circle.
Rascallion’s comeback run after his spring vacation was a very good second place to Warrior in the Cape Mile. Master rider Anton Marcus was in the saddle that day and reprises the role.
Sovereign Spirit is another in the line-up who has been knocking about with the best and is quite capable of grabbing the big cheque.
Rockin’ Ringo is a top division bruiser who has been in great form and will surely be wanting a say in the outcome.
1: 3 Persistance, 7 Travel Master, 1 Paris Rix, 5 Mr Frostie
2: 1 Russian Rock, 3 My Bestie, 6 Silver Falcon, 4 Somerset Maugham
3: 1 Que Shiraz, 4 The Futurist, 2 Dragonfly, 3 Tizona
4: 1 Do It Again, 2 Rascallion, 6 Rockin’ Ringo, 3 Sovereign Spirit
5: 1 Exceeder, 4 Vida Futura, 8 Impact, 2 Service Ace
6: 7 Fleeting, 1 Do Angels Cry, 3 Sacha, 5 Lillybelle
7: 3 Moon Rock, 6 Double Charge, 4 Debonair, 8 Infinite Peace
8: 3 Sun Dazed, 4 Veni Vidi Vicci, 7 Galactic Path, 5 Han Solo
Pick 6: 1,2,4,5 x 1,2,6 x 1,2,4,8 x 1,3,5,7 x 3,4,6,8 x 3,4 (R1536)
PA: 1,3 x 1,4 x 1,2 x 1 x 1,7 x 3,6 x 3 (R32)