Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
4 Jan 2022
3:04 pm

Rainbow Bridge tops LQP boards as he tackles young guns

Mike Moon

The 2022 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate will be contested over 1600m at Kenilworth in Cape Town on Saturday.

Rainbow Bridge comes into Saturday’s L’Ormarins Queen's Plate as the best handicapped runner and will be looking for his first victory in this R1.5-million Grade 1 race at Kenilworth. Picture: Gold Circle

One of the giants of South African racing, two-time Cape Met champ Rainbow Bridge, has been priced up as joint favourite for the 2022 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate to be contested over 1600m at Kenilworth in Cape Town on Saturday.

The venerable seven-year-old shares the 7-2 rung with a young gun, four-year-old Linebacker, while 2021 Durban July winner Kommetdieding is a notch away at 9-2.

Most of the leading entrants stood their ground when the Queen’s Plate final field was unveiled on Monday.

Top trainer Justin Snaith will saddle four of the 12 runners, including defending champion Jet Dark (15-2) and well-supported Warrior (13-2). Snaith’s other two contenders are 16-1 shots Pacaya and Pomp And Power.

Jockey bookings for the historic race make interesting reading. With his ties to Snaith having been loosened in recent months, leading Cape rider Richard Fourie has secured the job on Rainbow Bridge for trainer Eric Sands.

Snaith will give legs up to Anton Marcus on Warrior, S’Manga Khumalo on Jet Dark, Grant van Niekerk on Pacaya and Keagan de Melo on Pomp And Power.

Van Niekerk’s triumphant 2021 run on Linebacker comes to an end – after stirring victories in the Cape Derby, the Natal Guineas and the Daily News 2000. Craig Zackey is the beneficiary of the change.

Rainbow Bridge’s connections will be keen to add the prestigious Queen’s Plate to his impressive array of trophies. He has twice finished third in the race (in 2019 and 2020) and was second last year.

Following a disappointing July, Rainbow Bridge was given a nice rest, returning to action in the Green Point Stakes in December and showing all his old gusto in going down narrowly to Seeking The Stars – who re-opposes on Saturday (10-1)

BETTING

7-2 Rainbow Bridge, Linebacker

9-2 Kommetdieding

13-2 Warrior

15-2 Jet Dark

10-1 Seeking The Stars

12-1 Trip Of Fortune

16-1 Pomp And Power, Pacaya

30-1 Good Traveller

45-1 After The Rain