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By Mike Moon

Horse racing correspondent

Beach Bomb could have guys sweating and swooning

Smart trainer, pedigree and the right weight mean star filly can smash Cape Derby’s glass ceiling.

When we list the likes of Colorado King, Sea Cottage, Politician, Jamaican Music, Bold Tropic and Jay Peg as previous winners, it is clear why the Cape Derby is considered a rite of passage for great South African racehorses – perhaps more so than the various Guineas races around the country.

Even horses that narrowly failed to win the Cape Derby make a case for it as a proving ground of distinction: London News, Illustrador, Yataghan and, last year, Charles Dickens.

It’s also seen as a maker of champion stallions, with some of those mentioned above being joined in recent years by the likes of Legislate, Capetown Noir and Jackson as sought-after sires.

That’s surely why six of the nine three-year-olds in Saturday’s Splashout Cape Derby at Kenilworth are still colts.

Beach Bomb

Interestingly, though, quite a few recent Derby champions have been geldings – though not 2023 victor See It Again, who still has his crown jewels in place as he negotiates his four-year-old season.

Yet, the first winner of the Derby in 1925 (then the Western Cape Derby) was a filly, named Desert Born.

This is worth noting because one of the three non-colts in Saturday’s R1.5-million Grade 1 contest is a filly.

This is Beach Bomb, already a dual Grade 1 winner and daughter of amazing race mare Beach Beauty, darling of the local turf not long ago – herself the offspring of a Derby winner in Dynasty.

Canny trainer Candice Bass-Robinson is not one to take chances for the sake of a giggle, so she will have carefully assessed whether Beach Bomb is not only physically up to competing against males but whether she has a realistic chance of beating them.

The filly is by far the highest-rated runner in the field on a mark of 117, compared to bookies’ favourite Green With Envy on 110, and gets a 2.5kg gender allowance to boot.

She was a disappointment in the Majorca Stakes on Met day, but that was uncharacteristic. Excuses could have been a wide draw, from which she never recovered, and that mile trip already becoming a bit sharp for her. Her pedigree says she’ll handle the 2000m with ease – as does her powerful finishing burst when winning the Paddock Stakes over 1800m in early January.

Bass-Robinson’s training feat in getting Charles Dickens back to his best to land the King’s Plate proves the Milnerton conditioner knows how to get stars shining brightly on big days.

Green With Envy also impressed when stepped up to 1800m for the Politician Stakes, with a late run that blew away his rivals. So, heavy betting support for Dean Kannemeyer’s colt is no real surprise.

National champion trainer Justin Snaith has won the Cape Derby three times in the last decade, saddles three of the nine this time and is always a factor in major races.

British jockey Danny Muscutt, who last month won the Cape Town Met for Snaith on Double Superlative, flies out to partner Hluhluwe for the stable and the son of Trippi and grandson of Giant’s Causeway should be considered for inclusion in bets.

A R3-million Pick 6 pool is predicted for Derby day, the finale of a spectacular Cape summer season at the much-acclaimed, revamped Kenilworth racecourse.


4 Beach Bomb, 6 Green With Envy, 7 Hluhluwe, 8 Rapidash

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