A Met day Pick 6 to conjure with
Bankers might be needed to offset a couple of nightmare legs.
Winter Cloud in action at Kenilworth in Cape Town early last year. Picture: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images
The Pick 6 pool on Met day at Kenilworth on Saturday could top the R10-million predicted – thanks to the glamourous allure of one of South Africa’s premier race meetings and the apparent gift of a sure-fire banker.
See It Again is a 5-10 hotpot in the main event, the R2-million World Sports Betting Cape Town Met over 2000m, and is every pundit’s best bet on the card.
The temptation to go with the crowd is strong, which means the popular exotic bet becomes a “Pick 5”. And, even then, there are a couple of further potential bankers – or legs where narrow selections are feasible.
In Leg 1, Race 4 over 1400m, some punters will contemplate putting full trust in ultra-consistent At My Command, who is well overdue a win after being the “almost” horse in a string of starts.
Brett Crawford’s four-year-old has finished out of the prize money only once in 15 outings – in last year’s KZN Guineas, when he was later found to have a snotty nose. He has given the likes of Charles Dickens, See It Again and Much Dinero plenty to think about and would have been a Met starter this week if his connections hadn’t opted for this lesser contest to try to get a fourth career victory on the board.
But there’s always the niggly feeling that a perennial hard-luck performer will come up with no cigar again. (Also, punters will be wary of being blown out of the picture early on, so other inclusions are probably called for.)
Runners in the equation include trainer Peter Muscutt’s visitor from KwaZulu-Natal, Quasiforsure, while Captain Fontane, Underworld and Silver Operator can go in and 40-1 longshot Tout A Fait could be a landmine.
Leg 2, Race 5, a 1200m sprint for fillies and mares, boasts a warm favourite in Winter Cloud. Trainer Candice Bass-Robinson seldom leaves a big meeting without some silverware and this contest will be one of her primary targets.
Looking beyond the in-form three-year-old, things get more complicated, with a handful of contenders having credentials. You either banker Winter Cloud or go wide-ish.
Leg 3, Race 5, is the World Pools Cape Flying Championship – an iconic sprint on the local racing calendar. If you’ve gone wide in the previous leg, here’s a chance narrow things down and go easy on the wallet.
Equus Champion Sprinter Isivunguvungu tops the boards at 16-10, a price that’s normally an indicator of a possible banker. But the Muscutt raider was beaten last time out, in the 1000m Sprint Cup, by Highveld speedster Thunderstruck who bumps heads again.
These two look a cut above the competition, with only another Joburg visitor, Dyce from the Lucky Houdalakis stable, in the same bracket.
The Grade 1 Majorca Stakes over a mile is Leg 4 and another chance for Bass-Robinson to get onto the podium. She saddles sensational three-year-old filly Beach Bomb, who already has two Grade 1 titles to her name.
Beach Bomb’s rivalry with Horse of the Year Princess Calla was the talk of the game when she edged the six-year-old by a neck in the 1800m Paddock – in receipt of 6kg. This time the gap to Sean Tarry’s mighty mare is 5kg.
If the powerhouse females cut each other’s throats, the shock would be resounding. Happy Chance, Asiye Phambili or Make It Snappy would make the Pick 6 pay.
Punters will be thankful of having identified bankers and two and three-horse legs when they get to Leg 5, Race 8, the Cape Racing Gold Rush – a R7.5-million sales race featuring 16 three-year-old graduates of the Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
Tony Peter-trained raider Bavarian Beauty has won a Grade 1, so is likely to start favourite. Fellow visitors from Joburg Tail Of The Comet and Storm Brasco have some class about them.
But it is a competitive nightmare with scanty collateral form and is yelling out for the field to be selected in exotics.
Thank goodness for See It Again.
A possible Pick 6 perm:
4,6,11,12,13 X 2,5,9,11,12,16 X 4,8,9 x 5,11 X 4,6,7,8,10,11,13,15,16 X 11 (R1620)