Kenilworth thrills keep on coming
Majorca and Flying Champs fields packed with intrigue.
Beach Bomb in action during the 2024 L’Ormarins King’s Plate at Kenilworth Racecourse on January 6 this year. Picture: Yolanda Saayman/Gallo Images
It’ll be a generational battle of note in the Grade 1 Majorca Stakes, with South Africa’s grand dame of galloping Princess Calla taking on a posse of younger fillies over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday 27 January.
The principal opponent to the Sean Tarry-trained, Equus Horse of the Year is ravishing three-year-old Beach Bomb – fresh off two Grade 1 victories, in the Cape Fillies Guineas, over course and distance, and the Paddock Stakes, over 1800m on the first Saturday of the year.
That most recent success was by a bare 0.30 lengths – over the very same Princess Calla, who, as a six-year-old matriarch, was conceding 6kg to the young usurper.
This time around it’ll be a 5kg difference under the weight-for-age conditions of this historic race for female horses traditionally run on WSB Cape Town Met day. One other thing tilting slightly in Princess Calla’s favour is the draw, No 5 against No 11.
Another significant filly to stand her ground when final declarations were made on Wednesday was Happy Chance, who finished centimetres behind Beach Bomb and Princess Calla in the Paddock Stakes.
Brett Crawford’s runner gets a 0.5kg weight swing with Beach Bomb and jumps from the No 2 gate.
Also prominent in the Majorca mix are consistent Golden Hostess, Cape Guineas runner-up Red Palace and Joburg raider Gimme A Shot, who has flown under the radar during a Cape campaign.
A notable acceptor is Crawford’s highly rated Make It Snappy, who last raced exactly a year ago in the 2023 Cape Town Met, when she was considered good enough as a three-year-old filly to tackle the country’s elite at that time.
She finished just four lengths off winner Jet Dark, but clearly something went badly wrong and she was forced to take a long recuperative break. Whether she’s in the field to make pace for Happy Chance is moot, but she has the class to test the best if at her best.
Cape Flying Championship
Also finalised on Wednesday was the lineup for Met day’s other Grade 1 feature, the 1000m World Pool Cape Flying Championship – always a speed feast to look forward to.
In-form protagonists are Sean Tarry’s Thunderstruck and Peter Muscutt’s Isivunguvungu, who recently duelled it out in the Sprint Cup on King’s Plate day.
Dyce, a raider from Lucky Houdalakis’s Highveld yard, is an underrated sprinter who will hopefully make it through a fleeting gap in the inter-provincial horse sickness travel ban in order to join the lineup.
Another likely to attract punter interest is Adam Marcus-trained Bereave, who is coming to hand after a four-month holiday.
(No & draw, horse, weight, MR, Trainer, Jockey)
Majorca Stakes G1, 1600m, R1m
1 Double Grand Slam 55 104 Justin Snaith Grant van Niekerk
2 Happy Chance 60 116 Brett Crawford Kabelo Matsunyane
3 Gimme A Shot 60 108 MG Azzie/AA Azzie S’manga Khumalo
4 Red Palace 55 111 Candice Bass-Robinson Anthony Andrews
5 Princess Calla 60 127 Sean Tarry Richard Fourie
6 Make It Snappy 60 125 Brett Crawford Luyolo Mxothwa
7 Golden Hostess 60 117 Candice Bass-Robinson Aldo Domeyer
8 Asiye Phambili 60 111 Gareth van Zyl Piere Strydom
9 Saartjie 60 110 Andre Nel Corne Orffer
10 Rascova 55 110 Glen Kotzen Craig Zackey
11 Beach Bomb 55 117 Candice Bass-Robinson Juan Paul vd Merwe
Cape Flying Championship G1, 1000m, R1.5m
1 Captain Arrow 56.5 98 Candice Bass-Robinson Gareth Wright
2 Mr Cobbs 60 103 Candice Bass-Robinson Aldo Domeyer
3 Mufasa 60 103 Brett Crawford Kabelo Matsunyane
4 Dyce 60 130 Lucky Houdalakis Craig Zackey
5 We’re Jamming 60 114 Justin Snaith Juan Paul vd Merwe
6 Bereave 60 122 Adam Marcus Corne Orffer
7 Kwinta’s Light 57.5 110 Justin Snaith Grant van Niekerk
8 Thunderstruck 60 124 Sean Tarry Piere Strydom
9 Isivunguvungu 60 130 Peter Muscutt Richard Fourie
10 Bartholdi 60 119 MG Azzie/AA Azzie S’manga Khumalo
11 Surjay 60 119 Brett Crawford Luyolo Mxothwa
12 Rio Querari 60 118 Justin Snaith Daniel Muscutt