South Africa Racing – East Cape Derby looks highly competitive

Trainer Justin Snaith (Credits to Snaith Racing Facebook)
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One could say that only a lack of a serious challenge has prevented a jockey like Richard Fourie from becoming South African Champion Jockey and he looks well poised to giving it a go next season.

The Eastern Cape should provide him with a source of many winners.

It is Derby Day at Fairview this Friday and although it is unlikely we will get an 80-1 winner as was the case in this past weekend’s Kentucky Derby, but it is a competitive looking race and there will be much studying until then.

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What will be high on the list of priorities for this meeting is to catch the Pick 6 for this meeting as it starts off with a carryover pool of R500,000 and they are expecting a pool around the R2 million mark.

As expected, trainers from the Western Cape will be bringing runners to Fairview to compete in the Derby and all of Justin Snaith, Candice Bass-Robinson, Glen Kotzen and Andre Nel have runners in the event while KwaZulu-Natal-based Kom Naidoo, who has a yard in Port Elizabeth, has four challengers.

What will make life tricky for bettors is that only two of the runners, both trained by Zietsman Oosthuizen, have run over the distance.

But there are some very well-bred protagonists who could easily enjoy the 2400m trip.

The local challenge is headed up by Gavin Smith with three runners while Alan Greeff and Oosthuizen have two each.

At one stage the visiting trainers would pick up most of the spoils on offer on days like this but more recently the homegrown trainers have been more than holding their own.

So it could be Smith who takes home the bulk of the prizemoney and it is You Know Who and apprentice Kaidan Brewer who could be responsible for making that happen.

This What A Winter gelding is one of the best-weighted runners and appears to be looking for this distance. You Know Who won the Derby Plate over 2000m with a few of these runners behind him and he should beat them again over the extra distance.

We will need to build up a good kitty to bet with and we will be relying on jockey Fourie to get us off to a decent start as his ride in Race 2, Open Secret, looks likely to get out of the maiden ranks in this Maiden Juvenile Plate for fillies over 1200m.

The Duke Of Marmalade filly showed promise on her debut and although disappointing in her next two starts it is worth ignoring her latest as she did not see out the 1400m.

It is a weak field and unless first-timer Red Sphere is particularly talented, Open Secret should win.

There was not a lot between Major Attraction and Santa Therese when they met on 29 January at Kenilworth 1600m and they should fight out the finish of the Race 4, the opening leg of the Pick 6.

Major Attraction ran a decent third behind Princess Calla after that.

Santa Therese was 0.50 lengths behind Major Attraction at Kenilworth and given that Santa Therese has proven herself better at her home track, one would expect her to be more than capable of winning.

Trainer Alan Greeff tried blinkers for her comeback run and that was clearly not what she needed and she disappointed when only fourth.

He took the hint and removed the equipment for this duel.

Clive Robinson