Robert Garner
1 minute read
26 Apr 2014
6:00 am

Louis The King targeting hat-trick on Champions Day

Robert Garner

Louis The King, bought for just R60 000 as a yearling, is poised to catapult his earnings to more than R5 million when he runs in the R2 million SA Derby over 2 450m on Champions Day at Turffontein this afternoon.

Louis The King, pictured with Marnu Potgieter in a training gallop this week, is out to become only the second winner of the SASCOC SA Triple Crown. He runs in the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the R 2-million SA Derby, on Champions Day at Turffontein on Saturday. Picture supplied.

Champions Day is Africa’s richest raceday and it’s going to be a feast of top-quality racing action, with nine feature races on the menu. There will be loads of other entertainment, ranging from an intercontinental village to a display of over 50 Ferraris. And to add to the excitement the Pick 6 pool is set to top R5 million as a result of a big carryover.

Louis The King is already rated SA’s top three-year-old after victories in the first two legs of the Sascoc Triple Crown for three-year-olds, the Gauteng Guineas and the SA Classic respectively.

The SA Derby is the third and final leg of the series and victory today will see him clinch not only the first prize in the 2 450m Derby, but also the R2 million bonus for winning all three legs of the Triple Crown.

The Triple Crown is notoriously difficult to win and only one horse has done so – the mighty Horse Chestnut back in 1999.

Yet there’s loads of confidence in Louis The King’s ability to follow in the hoof prints of Horse Chestnut. Many pundits make him tough to beat and bookmakers have him even-money favourite, with Bouclette Top second favourite at 13/2. Ilitshe is at 7/1 with As You Like at 10s.

It may not be as easy as the betting suggests. Louis The King was only 0.60 lengths ahead of As You Like in the SA Classic, with Bouclette Top another length further back.

So there’s not much between the three, and champion trainer Mike de Kock’s runners Taarish, Gone Baby Gone and Ilitshe are also not out of it. Racing gets under way at 11.50am.

See Form Focus for top jockey Piere Strydom’s views on the big day and all the latest racing info.