Jack Milner
4 minute read
29 Nov 2014
9:54 am

‘Louis’ to be the Summer King

Jack Milner

“First feelings are always the most natural.” Those are the words of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France.

After the running of the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile the first feeling around Turffontein Racecourse was that Louis The King was the horse to beat in the R2-million Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup. We are just one day away from the Grade 1 race over 2000m at Turffontein and nothing has changed – my first feelings are still naturally pointing me in the direction of Louis The King.

Drawn wide in the Charity Mile, jockey Piere Strydom dropped him and halfway up the straight it still appeared he had too much to do. But, as Louis the King achieved one his way to victory in the Triple Crown earlier this year, he waited for his moment and took off 300m from home. He flew to finish just 0.75 lengths behind winner Bezanova with No Worries in second place, 0.50 lengths ahead of Louis The King.

The Geoff Woodruff-trained runner is now 1kg better off with both of those and should be able to reverse the placings. This time he is drawn No 7, will be a lot fitter, and will enjoy the additional 400m.

“What can you say about Louis that already hasn’t been said?” asked Woodruff. “He was flying at the end of the Charity Mile and I’ve been delighted with him since. He has that brilliance and a fantastic constitution to go with it.

“Striker has ridden him just the once but both horse and rider are laid back characters that fit each other like a glove. From his draw he will be able to be placed in the box seat, and Louis’ box seat is midfield. From there he will make up the ground.

“I believe the real Louis The King is going to turn up on the day.”

His detractors point to two issues. Firstly, this will be the second run after a layoff and secondly, he is 5kg worse off with As You Like and 6kg with Bouclette Top on their Triple Crown form.

Woodruff simply pooh-poohed concerns about the first issue. “I’m not in the least worried. The Charity Mile was his preparation and he is in perfect condition.”

As far as the second point is concerned that weight difference already applied in the Charity Mile and Louis The King beat Bouclette Top by 1.50 lengths and As You Like by 3.25 lengths. Both are a further 0.5kg better off on that run but there is not enough of an adjustment to indicate Louis The King won’t confirm the Charity Mile. In any case, he ran past both of them as if they were going backwards and I cannot see them reversing the form.

People might feel Alec Laird’s duo will improve but then they are assuming Louis The King will not.

A more intriguing danger could come from Victory Moon Stakes winner Judicial. Some might argue that the only reason he won that race is because a massive downpour prior to the race affected the chances of some of the more fancied runners.

That is argument refuted by trainer Tyrone Zackey. “He loved the wet in the Victory Moon but it doesn’t matter whether the ground is hard or soft, he has to be a good horse to have beaten that field.

“Personally, Judicial is one of the best Place bets. He is improving daily and as long as nothing goes wrong during the running of the race, he will finish on top of them.” said Zackey yesterday.

Judicial was always on the heels of the top three-year-olds last season but was a very difficult ride and needed to be gelded. Once that was done it still took a while for him to come to hand but the addition of blinkers seems to have done the trick. He has won his last three starts and according to jockey Karl Zechner Judicial was a pleasure to ride. He hit the front early in the Victory Moon, switched off and picked up again once Earl Of Derby moved up next to him.

“He took that race very well and there’s not much we have to do with him but just keep him fit. On Tuesday we gave him his final preparation run. It was just a pipe opener and I don’t think I can get him any better,” said Zackey.