Durban July hero Kommetdieding is poised to write a new chapter in his compelling racing story when he contests the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth on Saturday.
South Africa’s premier mile event has a long and distinguished history and there could hardly be a better way to embellish it than seeing the name of the country’s most popular horse engraved on the silver salver trophy.
Kommetdieding has been a shining light in the gloomy pandemic era: a redemption tale, a rags-to-riches saga, a vindication of the underdog struggle – call it what you will. And he is still only four years old with years of further glory beckoning.
The son of Elusive Fort was bought unseen as a yearling for the relative song of R55,000 by Grassy Park building contractor Ashwin Reynolds. Trained by the small Michelle Rix-Harold Crawford yard, the gelding turned few heads until he started reeling off wins on the Cape Town turf – and, of course, on an unforgettable day in Durban.
Indeed, Kommetdieding has not run a bad race in his eight outings to date, winning five of them and never finishing more than two lengths back. There were good excuses for all three losses, so a whole-hearted effort can be expected by supporters when he lines up against a strong field on Saturday.
July-winning partner Gavin Lerena is back in the saddle, as he was when Kommetdieding returned from a break in the Cape Mile in November. That effort ended in a close-up third place despite a steadying burden of 62kg and some argy-bargy along the way.
Of course, the Queen’s Plate will always attract top horses, so winning won’t be easy – for any of the 11 who line up.
Grand master Rainbow Bridge is the ante-post favourite to add this Grade 1 title to his lengthy honours board. Linebacker was second to Kommetdieding in the July and will be all out for revenge, while last year’s winner, Jet Dark, has shown that surprise success was no fluke.
And there are more to consider.
1: 1 Belle Rouge, 2 I’m In Love, 3 Little Miss Pink, 7 What A State
2: 9 We’re Jamming, 7 Smith And Wesson, 2 Cousin Casey, 6 Pure Maverick
3: 3 Pomodoro’s Jet, 4 Tchaikovsky, 2 Bon Voyage, 11 Zum Zum
4: 2 Real Gone Kid, 5 Barzalona, 1 Kasimir, 3 Speed Machine
5: 4 Do It Again, 3 Firealley, 1 Russian Rock, 7 Rockin’ Ringo
6: 2 Captain’s Ransom, 4 Marina, 3 Princess Calla, 1 She’s A Keeper
7: 3 Kommetdieding, 1 Rainbow Bridge, 2 Jet Dark, 11 Pacaya
8: 4 T’challa, 7 All About Al, 3 Somerset Maugham, 12 Gallic Tribe
9: 15 Queen’s Wood, 3 Dragonfly, 10 Que Siraj, 2 Double Charge
10: 5 One Way Traffic, 3 Black Knapp, 2 Crimson King, 9 Warrior Bling
Pick 6: 2 x 4 x 1,2,3,4,6,7,8 x 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,11 x 2,3,4,7,8,12 x 2,3,4,6,10,15 (R2016)
PA: 3,4 x 2 x 4 x 2,3,4 x 1,2,3 x 4,7 x 3,10,15 (R108)
Best: Race 8 No 3 Cape Eagle
Value: Race 5 No 6 Master Vision