Igugu (yellow silks) won the J & B Met at Kenilworth last yearPICTURE: Liesl King/Thoroughbrednews
Crawford's Jackson favourite for J & B Met
Preview: South Africa, Saturday
Kenilworth: J & B Met (Grade 1) 1m 2f, turf, 3yo+, 2.30pm GMT
THIS is South Africa’s top conditions race and Jackson (Brett Crawford/Karis Teetan) has been favourite ever since the entries closed nearly two months ago.
He inexplicably flopped when starting favourite for the Durban July but his subsequent form has been good even though he suffered heat exhaustion when second to Variety Club in the Queen’s Plate over a mile last time.
Crawford said: “He has put up three good trials and this is the first time he has run over the Kenilworth ten furlongs since he won the Derby 12 months ago so the opposition are now entering his terrain. We’ve pulled a draw and I think he is a huge runner.”
It takes a special horse to win this after landing the Durban July but Pomodoro (Sean Tarry/Piere Strydom) has given every satisfaction since his Queen’s Plate third when he was badly bumped early on. He is second favourite.
There has been support for Slumdogmillionaire (Gavin van Zyl/Brandon Lerena) while Beach Beauty (Dennis Drier/Sean Cormack) was an impressive winner of the Paddock Stakes and went well in last week’s public gallops.
Last year’s runner-up Bravura (Joey Ramsden/Anton Marcus) is a big price at 16-1 and Ramsden said: “I have been maintaining all season that he is a better horse than he has ever been while I couldn’t be happier with King Of Pain (Glen Hatt). This trip is his game.”
Also on Saturday
Kenilworth: Investec Cape Derby (Grade 1) 1m 2f, turf, 3yo 12.50pm GMT
Capetown Noir (Dean Kannemeyer/Karl Neisius) was an impressive winner of the Cape Guineas and he is 7-20 locally to become only the fourth horse in 20 years to complete the double. There are doubts about the Western Winter colt’s stamina as his dam did not get further than a mile and nor did many of her family.
Kannemeyer said: “I am pretty confident he will get the trip – physically he looks as if he will – and if he does they are going to have to run to beat him.”
The colt has 12lb in hand on official ratings with the next best being the Cape Guineas fifth Sanshaawes (Piet Steyn/Piere Strydom) who is second favourite at 10-1, with strong-finishing Politician Stakes runner-up De Kaiser (Mike Bass/Anton Marcus) a 12-1 chance.
Kenilworth: Klawervlei Majorca Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ f/m 1.30pm GMT
Blueridge Mountain (Gary Alexander-Anton Marcus) was a surprise winner of last month’s six furlong Sceptre Stakes and is bred to be even better over this trip (the Giant’s Causeway filly is out of a Distant View mare) but she is drawn two from the outside.
Dean Alexander, Gary’s brother, said: “She has come on from the Sceptre but it’s a terrible draw. However Anton has a knack of getting his mounts across and, if anybody can do it, he can.”
The four-time champion has picked her in preference to All Is Secret (Vaughan Marshall/M.J. Byleveld) on whom he finished second in the Sceptre and fourth in the Cape Fillies Guineas.
Hammie’s Hooker (Mike Bass/Karl Neisius) shares 5-1 favouritism with Blueridge Mountain. She was second in the Cape Fillies Guineas but had an off day last time in the Paddock Stakes when Viva Maria (Mike de Kock/Anthony Delpech) was third to Beach Beauty.