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Saturday, 8 December 2018

ANALYSIS OF KENILWORTH GREEN POINT STAKES


It’s been billed by some observers as the Cape’s race of the century. Whatever your personal opinion, Saturday’s R400 000 Gr2 Green Point Stakes has captured the public interest and is a godsend of a shot in the arm for the Summer Of Champions Season.

The marketing department could not have written the script.


Legal Eagle – defending double champion (Pic – Liesl King)

The dual SA Horse Of The Year and senior defending champion takes on the undefeated younger boom horse at weight-for-age plus penalties over the Kenilworth summer course mile. And the fun doesn’t end there. Throw in two smart 4yo’s, in last season’s Gr1 Gold Challenge winner and the Vodacom Durban July champion, and the platform is set for a dream race.


Rainbow Bridge – unbeaten! (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The key may lie in the still unknown quantity that is the undefeated Rainbow Bridge. After all, we know how good our multiple SA Horse Of The Year and public favourite Legal Eagle is. The Avontuur-bred star goes for a third Green Point Stakes victory on the trot and returned to action three weeks with a storming Pinnacle win over the Turffontein 1160m. That was a clear indicator of the son of Greys Inn’s wellbeing and even at the age of 7, he must be our first choice as the proven professional to hold the attentions of the upcoming stars.

Eric Sands’Rainbow Bridge has been the talking horse of the season and won his five starts – including three Gr3 contests – in the fashion of something really special. While he has taken on and beaten very little in the broader picture – particularly compared against the Legal Eagle cv – he is clearly the one horse in the line-up whose upward potential could be anything. Richard Fourie, who rode him to his first three victiories, suggested he would be most lethal at a mile. The longer run-in of the summer course will be even more to his liking too.



Undercover Agent – dark horse (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Gr1 Gold Challenge winner Undercover Agent was beaten 2 lengths by star senior stablemate Captain America in the Champions Cup at the end of last term. He then opened his 4yo account beating accomplished local speedster Dutch Philip in a Kenilworth 1200m Pinnacle at the end of October. We could conjure up all kinds of obstacles from the second run after a rest syndrome, to the fact that he couldn’t really hold his own in last terms classics, but no horse in Saturday’s field has improved to the extent shown by Undercover Agent. He could spoil the party for the Eagle and the Rainbow!

Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again has his first run in the 22 weeks since winning Africa’s greatest. The Investec Cape Derby runner-up and winner of the Daisy Guineas, he is effective over the mile and his participation adds an element of spice in the hands of top jockey Richard Fourie.

Hat Puntano – looks to have a tough task (Pic – JC Photos)

The 2017 Charity Mile winner Hat Puntano has changed stables to Joey Ramsden from the Azzie team. The son of Hat Trick took on Legal Eagle in the 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate but was outgunned and has failed to deliver any inspirational performance in his two runs since. He would be a surprise winner.

Stablemate to Do It Again, Copper Force ran over 11 lengths off Legal Eagle in this race last year but then proceeded to run the race of his life when flying up late to be beaten under a half length in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. He has had the blinkers removed for Saturday but cannot be fancied to upstage the big guns and is probably in the race to ensure a decent pace.

Legal Eagle is a narrow sentimental choice to hold Rainbow Bridge and Undercover Agent. But it’s a race where tactics and heart could outpoint pure ability. Don’t miss it!

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