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Variety Club has tricky draw to overcome

Preview: South Africa, Saturday 2.50pm GMT
Kenilworth: L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (Grade 1)
1m, turf, 3yo+

Horse of the Year Variety Club (Joey Ramsden/Anton Marcus) is evens favourite locally to record his sixth successive win despite his trainer's concerns about his outside draw.

Ramsden said: "He has been doing well and he worked well when I took him to the course last week but the 15 draw stinks."

However Variety Club has tremendous gate speed and four-times champion Marcus is particularly good at overcoming bad draws.

Jackson (Brett Crawford/Karis Teetan), favourite for the J & B Met over two furlongs further in three weeks time, was two and a half lengths behind Variety Club over this course and distance last time.

Crawford said: "It's going to be hard. This mile is Variety Club's territory and we are fighting in his water. We will have to ride Jackson closer to the pace here."

Pomodoro (Sean Tarry/Piere Strydom) won the Durban July over three furlongs further, travelled nearly 900 miles from Johannesburg during the week and is third favourite despite having the Met as his main mission.

Champion sprinter What A Winter (Mike Bass/Bernard Fayd'Herbe) has appeared not to get the trip at two previous attempts at a mile and Bass is worried about his ten draw.

Also on Saturday

Kenilworth: Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (Grade 1) 1m 1f, turf, 3yo+ f/m (12.40pm GMT)

Beach Beauty (Dennis Drier/ Sean Cormack) is favourite to make amends for last year's defeat when she fought for her head as the race turned into a crawl. Drier says he will give the jockey a free hand this time.

Last year's winner Thunder Dance (Brett Crawford/Karis Teetan) is reported "at the top of her game" and Fillies' Guineas runner-up Hammie's Hooker (Mike Bass/Glen Hatt) also comes into consideration.

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