THE stage is set for one of the best racemeetings of the entire Champion’s Season in KwaZulu-Natal when five fully subscribed feature races are staged at the Dubai Racing Club All Stars Day at Clairwood Racecourse on Saturday, July 29.
The five graded events are packed with most of the country’s racing stars to ensure the 2005-2006 South African Racing Season closes on a high note.
The races, headed by the R500 000, Grade 1 Dubai Racing Club Champions Cup, are crucial in determining the final standings in the race for Equus Award glory later in the year and racegoers can be certain of a racemeeting to be remembered.
The main event includes the country’s top miler National Spirit, impressive winner of the Cup Trial, J&B Met winner Zebra Crossing and last year’s Vodacom Durban July winner, Dunford.
The balance of the field are all top-class performers including the Mike de Kock quartet of Equal Image, who ran a great third in the Vodacom Durban July, Cycad, Carnadore and Quickwood. Dean Kannemeyer’s Express Way is back to prove his earlier Cape form was no fluke.|
Equal Image, in training.
Mike Bass also runs African Appeal who was one of the fancied runners in the Vodacom Durban July and Paul Lafferty will saddle Pinero who he felt was very unlucky not to get a run in Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event.
The two juvenile races will draw a great deal of interest especially the R350 000, Grade 1 Nad Al Sheba Thekwini Stakes for fillies. Here Roy Magner’s Asylum Seeker is on the brink of making history by becoming the first horse since the introduction of the All Stars Series to win all legs of her particular competition and pocket the R1-million bonus.
She faces some formidable opposition such as Charles Laird’s coupling of Carry On Katie and Bridget’s Academy, Neil Bruss’s Sally Bowles and Mike Azzie’s Trust Antonia.
The R500 000, Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes has a highly competitive field of 16 with Charles Laird holding a strong hand with Buran, Glint Of Ice and Honourable and Mike de Kock looking to steal his glory with Kildonan. Add the likes of Buscador, Divine Jury and Procurer and an outstanding race is a certainty.
For the three-year-olds, there are the two final classics of the year, the R200 000, Grade 2 Dubai International Racing Carnival Derby and the R175 000, Grade 2 Dubai Racing Club Oaks – and both have drawn outstanding fields.
The Derby field includes most of the country’s top young colts and geldings including Dean Kannemeyer’s Jagged Ice who fought out the finish of the Daily News 2200 with Elusive Fort and his recent winner, Mr. Lux.
Charles Laird runs Likeithot and Looks Like Trouble and Dominic Zaki has a big runner in Talahatchie. Corne Spies has accepted with Sunscreen who is likely to make a bold showing.
Another of the top three-year-olds is Michael Roberts’s West Coast Gold and jockey Robbie Fradd will be back in town to ride Paris To Peking for Weiho Marwing.
Fradd will also ride Jusamossa for Marwing in the Oaks where she takes on some top fillies like Joey Ramsden’s Next Spring, Michael Roberts’s Johnson’s Encore and Mike de Kock’s Santiago.
Glen Kotzen fields his top staying filly Winona and Veiled Essence and Geoff Woodruff has accepted with Envoy.
All five races are likely to produce outstanding clashes involving many of the best horses in the country in what is set to be a grand finale to the season.