Horses / Horse News

Mark van Deventer
1 minute read
7 Oct 2013
9:13 am

African Gladiator to win this war

Mark van Deventer

Strong front-runner African Gladiator is the likely favourite in the first of two Pinnacle Stakes at Flamingo Park today, this one over 2200m.

Possessing sound course-and-distance form, this seven-year-old gelding, who has recorded six wins from 29 starts, will attempt a gun-to-tape strike for the Cliffie Miller-Marco van Rensburg combination.

With most of the other runners currently competing below par, the only dangers appear to be Dolomite and Karlo, both trained by Jaap Visser.

The former flopped last time but before that, displayed consistent form at around MR 72 Handicap level.

Visser’s other entry has been rested in an attempt to repair the trend of declining form. Should he bounce back to the standards shown in April and May, he has definite claims at the weights and could menace African Gladiator.

The other Pinnacle Stakes is over 1600m and high-percentage trainer Sarel von Willingh Smit steps out Code Red, who must have a live chance.

Classy sand performer Killua Castle proved way too tough for Smit’s brave raider at the Vaal last time out but back on home turf Code Red should be highly competitive again.

Eye Of The World, a 14-time winner, and distance-suited Kingofmountain loom as the main threats, although Silly Mid-On may be able to mix it with the heavyweights with just 55kg, whilst Bay Route could be a factor if taking to the Kimberley grit.

Seeing in-form mare Tenacious Tess involved in the finish would not come as a surprise either.