Horses / Horse News

Racing reporter
3 minute read
18 Jan 2016
4:00 pm

2016 MET field unveiled

Racing reporter

A notable absentee was French Navy as national champion trainer Sean Tarry has decided to keep him in Johanesburg.

Futura wins the 2015 J&B Met

The final field for the Gr 1 R2,5 million J&B Met was unveiled today and includes the defending champion Futura. A notable absentee was French Navy as national champion trainer Sean Tarry has decided to keep him in Johanesburg to prepare for the R4 million President’s Champion Challenge on April 30, but this has not detracted from the race as a high quality field will line up.

The barrier draw ceremony will be conducted at Kenilworth on Thursday morning after the J&B Met gallops. There are eight Gr 1 winners in the Met and they will be carrying a consequent 2kg penalty. The race would otherwise be weight for age.

Futura and Legislate have both won four Gr 1s each, Legal Eagle and the only filly in the race Smart Call have each won two Gr 1s, and Captain America and Master Sabina have each won one. Another Gr 1 winner in the race, King Of Pain, does not have to carry the penalty as his Gr 1 victory was more than 18 months ago, while Gold Onyx’s Gr 1 came as a two-year-old which does not count.

Legal Eagle will be attempting to repeat Futura’s feat last year of doing L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate/Met double and Anton Marcus retains the ride. Bernard Fayd’Herbe rode Futura to Met glory last year and remains aboard. Piere Strydom retains the ride on Legislate, having ridden him to second in the Queen’s Plate. Gavin Lerena rode Master Sabina to win the Gr 1 Sansui Summer Cup and has retained the ride, while Weichong Marwing stays aboard Smart Call, having partnered her to both of her Gr 1 victories,
which included this month’s Gr 1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes.

COMPETITION > WIN a spectacular weekend at the 2016 MET with The Citizen and J&B

Corne Orffer is regular pilot to Captain America, being the stable jockey to Brett Crawford, who won the Met last year with Futura. Futura was moved to Justin Snaith’s yard after last year’s Met due to a dispute between the owners and the Cape Champion trainer’s strong hand with both him and Legislate will be bolstered by the presence of Krambambuli, who placed in last year’s Gr 1 Investec Cape Derby over the Met course and distance.

An interesting raider from Johannesburg is Mac De Lago, whose class is unquestionable as he has finished close up in a number of big races. Also from Johannesburg are Legal Eagle, Master Sabina and Smart Call as well as last year’s Met runner up Gold Onyx and this season’s Summer Cup runner up Deo Juvente. Paterfamilias and Light The Lights are the respective winners of two traditional Gr 2 J&B Met pointers, the Premier Trophy and the Peninsula Handicap, and they are duly in the line up.

The evergreen Punta Arenas is the only representative of a KZN yard and will be a popular winner, having been runner up in last year’s Vodacom Durban July and third and fifth in his two respective attempts at the Met. Helderberg Blue was third in last year’s Met but faces a stronger field this time.

The Gr 1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship will be run on Met day for the first time and a top class field was unveiled. The Gr 1-winners among them include Guiness, Copper Parade, Carry On Alice and Fly By Night, but there are a number capable of upsetting them, including the ever improving Brutal Force and the highly consistent Trip Tease, who is the second highest merit rated horse in the race behind Carry On Alice.