Jack Milner
3 minute read
31 May 2014
10:24 am

Louis to prove he’s King of all

Jack Milner

After Forest Indigo finished second in the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas on 1 March, forlorn jockey Kevin Shea, nodding towards the winner, said: “This horse is a champion, so how good is he?”

The winner was Louis The King, and the race was the first leg of the SASCOC Triple Crown.

He went on to win the next two legs and in doing so, the Geoff Woodruff-trained runner wrote his name in the record books of South African racing.

Today the son of Black Minnaloushe begins the next leg of his journey when he takes on the best three-year-olds in the country in the R2-million Daily News 2000.

Shea will learn the answer to his question as he gets to ride Louis The King in the Grade 1 race over 2000m at Greyville.

There are many who have already proclaimed the Cape set as the top crop but the majority of those are from the Cape so their vision could be somewhat tinted. The fact is the small amount of information we do have does not back up that theory.

Alec Laird took Forest Indigo to the Cape and the son of Judpot, racing from a No 14 draw, still managed to get up for fourth, beaten 1.25 lengths by Elusive Gold. Captain America was 1.15 lengths ahead of him and Legislate, who we accept was not at his best on that occasion, almost five lengths behind him.

In the Gauteng Guineas Louis The King defeated Forest Indigo by 5.25 lengths!

There is further proof on a line through Bezanova, beaten 3.50 lengths by Louis The King in the SA Classic, and three lengths by Legislate in the KRA Guineas at Greyville. As Woodruff said about the detractors of the Triple Crown winner: “If they had been there they wouldn’t have to question it, they would know.”

The Sunday following the SA Derby, I had a chat to jockey Robbie Fradd as he waited to board his flight to Australia and asked him how he really rated Louis The King. He replied: “I don’t think we know how good this horse is. We still have a lot to learn about him. He is just such an easy horse to ride and he is all heart.

“I still believe he will get a lot better.”

He might not have seen Greyville but as Woodruff said: “There is never any fuss. When he arrives in a new place, he just looks around once or twice and then gets on with it.”

There is no reason why the course would not suit him and from a lovely No 2 draw Shea should be able to place him wherever he needs to be.

Of course Legislate deserves respect. After his disaster in the Guineas he came out to win the Investec Cape Derby with ease. He then had his first run at Greyville and doddled home to win the Guineas. Snaith has always rated him the best of his three-year-olds and the current form backs him up. However, jockey Richard Fourie does have No 11 draw to deal with.

Captain America has shortened in the betting but while strange things do happen in racing, it is hard to see Brett Crawford’s charge reversing the placings with Legislate.

The R1-million Woolavington 2000 for fillies is a lot more complicated and made worse by the number of good horses who have to jump from wide draws. Snaith saddles In The Fast Lane who was well backed to win the KRA Fillies Guineas at Greyville but failed to quicken and could only finish a 2.50-length third behind Maybe Yes.

The early pace was particularly slow and that may have led to the failure of the Jet Master filly. She will prefer this 2000m and drawn No 4 she deserves another chance.

Zacharias has come on well in her last four starts and could provide excellent value at her current odds of 12-1. Lanner Falcon is well drawn but is uncertain to stay 2000m.