Hopefully we’re luckier than we were in the Guineas. Our boy is doing exceptionally well at the moment; I think he will rise to the occasion on Saturday.
That was the first thing said by trainer Paul Peter when he picked up his phone to discuss Majestic Mambo’s chances in the R2- million SA Classic over 1800m on Saturday.
“Guineas Day was very disappointing for us,” he added. “We had high hopes for Majestic Mambo, but things did not work out. We went back to the drawing board and he will be ready.”
Majestic Mambo was 10-3 favourite for the Guineas, but finished in 13th place, a disappointing 13.25 lengths behind Monks Hood. In his defence, he struggled to overcome a wide draw and couldn’t find running room at the top of the straight, resulting in jockey Gunter Wrogemann being forced to switch the three-year-old colt in and out a number of times approaching the 300m marker, killing momentum.
Peter believes Majestic Mambo wasn’t himself leading up to that big day.
“I didn’t realise it at first, but he wasn’t his usual coltish self. Even the day before, he wasn’t naughty at all. He was very quiet and that’s not him. I’ve watched replays of the race but I don’t have concrete evidence as to why he performed that way,” he said.
“But he is doing exceptionally well at home. He is working up a storm and there’s no doubt he is far be er than that performance. He has tons of ability and has proven it. He will do far better over this 1800m trip – he loves it,” continued Peter, pointing out that Majestic Mambo is yet to taste defeat over 1800m.
In fact, the son of Mambo In Seattle demolished opposition in all three of his career victories winning his debut by 5.50 lengths and following up with a four-length win. It’s also worth remembering he beat Royal Crusade by an extending 2.25 lengths before the Guineas run. There’s something about those 1800m performances that suggests 4-1 win odds at Betting World are too good to resist. “I analysed his previous victories and I don’t think he likes to be behind a sea of horses. But I’m happy with his work and Anthony Delpech is back in the saddle, so I’m quietly confident. He loves and knows the horse very well. I will not be giving him any instructions,” said Peter.
“I think we have a winning chance. I’ve looked at the form and I fear Mike de Kock’s runners, specifically Like A Panther. I thought he did extremely well in Cape Town, plus it helps that he has a No 1 draw,” he continued.
The trainer was under a lot of pressure on Guineas Day his other runner, Folk Dance, was also a favourite in her race, the Fillies Guineas, but finished fourth behind Takingthepeace.
“She honestly wasn’t disgraced. I mean she was only beaten by 2.60 lengths. That was a good run if you consider she was caught wide for much of the race. I had concerns about her staying the 1800m trip at first, but on breeding nothing suggests she will not stay,” he said confidently.
“Plus, her jockey Keagan de Melo (currently Peter’s stable jockey) has been riding her at work and he is very confident she will stay. I’m expecting a big effort from her – from both my runners in the big races,” said Peter.