Topping the list is Mljet, who is weighted to win this race by a distance. Had this been a handicap he would have been giving weight all round but under the race conditions, this Vaughan Marshall-trained runner is at least 7kg better off with any other runner.
On paper, that would make him the proverbial “certainty”. This son of Jet Master won his first two races, at Clairwood, most impressively and then flew up late in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1600m at Greyville, to dead heat for third place behind Harry’s Son. Considering he had to overcome a shocking draw, the fact Mljet ended up just a neck behind the winner speaks volumes about his ability.
He should win this – and win it well – unless he is in need of a run.
He is not exactly running in the “blind school” and the Joey Ramsden-trained Act Of War looks to be a top-class individual. Ramsden kept this son of Dynasty in the Cape for the winter and after a narrow loss on debut, Act Of War went on to win three races, including the Grade 3 Langerman and the Listed Winter Juvenile Stakes.
He is not well handicapped but Anton Marcus does not make a trip to the Cape just to visit the family so one needs to respect his decision to come for the ride.
Heartland is a full brother to Jackson and won his debut race by 9.75 lengths. Justin Snaith’s charge has not raced since and could be anything. Muzi Yeni takes the ride.