Mike de Kock will be looking to Kinaan to give him a hat- trick of wins in the R1.25-million eLAN Gold Cup over 3200m at Greyville on Sunday.
De Kock won the race in 2015 with Wild One and last year with Enaad. Kinaan ran third behind his stablemate in 2016, beaten just 1.50 lengths.
The preparation of this Australian-bred son of Galileo is reminiscent of Wild One two years ago when De Kock ensured his charge would come into the race with a light weight. Kinaan has not won since March last year.
He was gelded in March this year and since then has been nursed along very nicely. He has only raced three times since then, culminating in a 1.55-length third behind Hermoso Mundo in the Grade 3 Gold Vase.
Hermoso Mundo won the race in the boardroom a er Captain Splendid was deemed to have caused interference in the closing stages but now Weiho Marwing’s charge carries 2kg more which is quite significant over this distance. Captain Splendid carries the same weight as does Kinaan.
That could see both of them finish ahead of Hermoso Mundo but the manner in which Kinaan has come on, points to him being the horse to beat.
“He’s had a very nice prep and he has come on nicely,” said Mathew de Kock, assistant to father Mike, yesterday.
“Last year, as a three-year-old, he ran with 53kg on his back. Now, as a four-year-old this year, he carries 52.5kg
“He’s definitely improved as he’s got older so we have a better horse this year carrying less weight than last year,” added De Kock.
Callan Murray is back in the country after his short stint in Hong Kong and will be on Kinaan’s back on Sunday.
One runner who could up- set the whole lot is Royal Badge, trained by Adam Marcus. He also ran in a feature on Durban July Day but Marcus chose the Greyville 2200 as opposed to the Gold
Vase. The race was won by Crowd Pleaser who led all the way but there was a lot to like by the manner in which Royal Badge ran on, especially as he was baulked in the straight and had to switch at a critical part of the race.
It was the ideal warm-up and as long as he sees out the distance, there is li le doubt the son of Go Deputy will be competitive, especially with Richard Fourie up. Piere Strydom has stuck with Captain Splendid on whom he has a good record. The four-year- old gelding was not stopping in the closing stages when headed by Hermoso Mundo and with the weight turnaround should reverse the placings.
However, Weichong Marwing is aboard his brother’s runner this time and that has be in Hermoso Mundo’s favour.
Two others to consider are Krambambuli, who was just 0.40 lengths behind Marinaresco in the Durban July, and Joe Soma- trained filly Fortissima.
Krambambuli carries top weight but has the services of Bernard Fayd’Herbe. However he is uncertain to stay 3200m. The distance will be no problem for Fortissima who beat the boys over 3200m on a heavy Turffontein track.