MATHEW de Kock drew on behalf of Mike for last year’s favourite Storm Crossing (headline photo) and Burmese Cat when the barrier positions for the Grade 2 Emerald Cup to be run over 1450m on the Vaal sand track on Saturday 24 September were drawn on Wednesday evening.
Mike will be over the moon as his runners will jump from positions No 4 and No 6 respectively. Apprentice Tshwaro Appie will be attempting to make up for last year’s defeat when he failed to overcome a wide draw on Storm Crossing. Anthony Delpech has the ride on Burmese Cat.
Trainer Sean Tarry had mixed fortunes. He has The Mouseketeer and Across The Ice – first and second respectively in the Grade 3 August Stakes over 1200m – in this R600,000 race. As he did in the August Stakes, The Mouseketeer could well jump from pole position. He actually drew at No 2 but position No 1 went to Lochlorien who at this stage is a reserve runner.
Unfortunately for the yard, Across The Ice will have to jump from draw No 14, although he could improve two positions should the reserve runners come out. Apprentice Nooresh Juglall and Robbie Fradd will reprise their riding roles respectively on the two runners.
Robbie Sage had similar fortunes, with Art Wish drawing position No 7 while last year’s winner Iron Curtain will jump from barrier No 10. Weichong Marwing will be aboard Iron Curtain and Gunter Wrogemann, who rode the winner last year, is on Art Wish.
Roy Magner has Eastern Cobbler (Gavin Lerena) and filly Mina Salaam (JP van der Merwe) while 2009 champion Phunyuka is the second reserve runner. Sadly for the yard Eastern Cobbler drew at No 11, well-handicapped filly Mina Salaam at No 15, while second reserve Phunyuka is at No 2.
An interesting runner is Comedy Caravan, who recently won the Recall Security Flamingo Mile in Kimberley. Muzi Yeni will ride the Sean Miller-trained runner and they will jump from barrier No 8.
Sayadaw finished like an express train in his last start and Scott Kenny’s charge will jump from No 9 draw. As he likes to come from off the pace, a slightly wider draw may well be in his favour. Randall Simons gets the ride.
The same is true for Alimony who will jump from barrier No 12. St John Gray’s nine-year-old has been the most consistent performer in the history of the Emerald Cup. In 2008 he came from the clouds to win the event, beating Renegade by 0.75 lengths. A year later claimed third spot, 1.35 lengths behind Phunyuka. Last year Alimony produced his usual finishing burst but the line came a stride too early and he went down by a long head to Iron Curtain. Fanie Chambers, who rode him last year, is back in the irons again.
Along with Art Wish and Iron Curtain, owner Bridget Oppenheimer has two other runners – Queen’s Bay drew well at No 5 for Mike Azzie while Gavin van Zyl’s Bouquet-Garni is drawn at No 13. Widest draw of all – No 16 – went to Prime Mover, trained by Leon Erasmus.
EMERALD CUP (Grade 2) R600,000 1450m
1 – 9 SAYADAW (S W Kenny) R Simons 60.0
2 – 4 STORM CROSSING (M F De Kock) T Appie 58.5
3 – 10 IRON CURTAIN (R R Sage) W Marwing 57.5
4 – 5 QUEEN’S BAY (M G Azzie) D David 56.0
5 – 11 EASTERN COBBLER (R R Magner) G Lerena 55.5
6 – 16 PRIME MOVER (L J Erasmus) S Brown 55.5
7 – 7 ART WISH (R R Sage) G Wrogemann 55.0
8 – 6 BURMESE CAT (M F De Kock) A Delpech 55.0
9 – 13 BOUQUET-GARNI (G H Van Zyl) M Mienie 55.0
10 – 8 COMEDY CARAVAN (S P Miller) M Yeni 54.5
11 – 2 THE MOUSEKETEER (S G Tarry) N Juglall 54.0
12 – 14 ACROSS THE ICE (S G Tarry) R Fradd 54.0
13 – 12 ALIMONY (S J Gray) S Chambers 54.0
14 – 15 MINA SALAAM (R R Magner) J P v’d Merwe 52.0
15 – 1 LOCHLORIEN (M G Azzie) Reserve 1 52.0
16 – 3 PHUNYUKA (R R Magner) Reserve 2 53.5
Same Trainer: (2,8) (3,7) (4,15) (5,14,16) (11,12)