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At the start of the Cape summer season, there seemed to be no more chance of trainer Candice Bass-Robinson upstaging Justin Snaith than Cameroon beating Brazil in the World Cup.
But that is the beauty of sport. Outsiders come to the fore from time to time.
With four months of the season completed, Snaith heads the trainers log but it is 48-year-old Bass-Robinson who is making waves in the big races and has some talented thoroughbreds in her care.
Her biggest headline-maker this term is three-year-old Charles Dickens and it is this Trippi colt — not Snaith inmates Jet Dark or Captain’s Ransom — who heads the market for the L’Ormarins King’s Plate on January 7.
In October Bass-Robinson won the Diana Stakes with her four-year-old filly, Santa Maria, and she finished a creditable fourth behind Princess Calla in last Saturday’s grade 2 Southern Cross Stakes at Kenilworth.
It was a fine feat of training by Sean Tarry to have his five-time winner in tip-top shape to win over a trip short of her best.
When it came to the grade 2 Green Point Stakes, pundits and punters were — once again — under the spell of 2020 Durban July winner, Kommetdieding.
The withdrawal of Jet Dark with a minor injury certainly left the way clear for the five-year-old unless one of three runners from Vaughan Marshall’s stable came to the party.
Bass-Robinson’s four-year-old, Trip Of Fortune, boasted six wins from 12 starts but his chance of taking top honours looked about as rosy as Ghana winning the World Cup — despite some football experts (sic) here expressing the view they could make the quarterfinals.
Though there was a hint that Trip Of Fortune could run a place with Aldo Domeyer switching to the four-year-old from FireAlley, his mount still went off friendless at 16-1 with Kommedieding getting all the support and starting at 83-100.
After the race, Kommetdieding’s jockey, Gavin Lerena, said it hadn’t suited him to race on the inside of the track and felt his mount had “run a good race”. It’s doubtful many with empty pockets agreed with that assessment.
Trainer Adam Marcus will be delighted with the performance of second-placed Universal as his four-year-old was having only his second outing since the Cape Derby in February. One would imagine connections will be tempted to go for next month’s King’s Plate.
If Business Day readers had taken a R24 boxed quartet of the four horses selected in Friday’s paper for the WSB Cape Fillies Guineas they would have received the healthy payout of R3,048.
This column’s first selection was Brett Crawford’s filly, Make It Snappy, and the daughter of Dynasty, backed in from 10-1 to 6-1, delivered the goods with a performance out of the top drawer.
Unfortunately, rather like the Cameroon goalscorer, Vincent Aboubakar, getting into trouble after netting his country’s winner against Brazil, jockey Louis Mxothwa celebrated his win before the line and was promptly fined R2,500 by the stipendiary stewards.
The key to the big payout in the Guineas was the performance of third-placed Hold My Hand whom trainer Glen Kotzen had stated was given a poor ride in the Fillies Championship.
Ridden for the first time by Calvin Habib, the Gauteng-based jockey wove his way through like a Ferrari in rush-hour traffic to secure third place. The performance vindicated Kotzen’s view that the daughter of Gold Standard is better than her form looked on paper.
At a meeting with only one winner from the powerful Snaith yard, Bass-Robinson nearly topped off the day in style with her 14-1 outsider, Philosophise, running second to Fly To Rio in the final race on the card.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.
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