KLAWERVLEI Stud’s brilliant filly Gibraltar Blue – the evens favourite for Saturday’s Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship over 1000m at Kenilworth – is being touted in many quarters as the “best thing to look through a bridle this month”, but Mike cautioned punters to keep their feet on the ground.
Gibraltar Blue: Her biggest test awaits.
“Gibraltar Blue is a top class filly, no doubt, but one cannot just ignore the fact that she will be racing against colts and geldings for the first time, and at Grade 1 level. She showed us what a talented sprinter she was when winning the Gardenia Handicap in a fast time, a super impressive run, but that was a Listed race against her own sex. The Cape Flying Championship is a different kettle of fish.”
Mike agrees, however, that despite the obvious traditional factors against her, Gibraltar Blue may well be more than capable of giving the “boys” a hiding. He said: “She’s been in Cape Town for a week and she’s very well. Now it’s wait and see, we’ll be holding thumbs!”
Assistant trainer John Buckler commented: “Gibraltar Blue left Randjesfontein for the Cape last Thursday after a good preparation. When Anton Marcus and I spoke during the week he said that he would prefer to get some cover for her during the race, near the pace, he’ll be discussing his options with Mike. They’re expecting a head wind, it will be an interesting event.”
Gibraltar Blue opened at 15-10n before her odds were slashed to 12-10 and even-money, but the faithful Capetonians, some inspired by confidence from expert form student Rob Champion, believe that three-year-old colt What A Winter will give Gibraltar Blue something to think about. Solid at 22-10 all week, he firmed to 2-1 on Friday.
Would like to hear Mike’s comments on Gibraltar Blue’s latest unplaced run. Perhaps she is now ready for further? Am sure she has lots still to come.