LINK MAN, who bounced back to his best when winning the Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the inside track at Turffontein early this month, heads the list of 36 entries for the R600,000 Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile (Grade 2) over 1600m on the standside track on Saturday 3 November.
Rested after suffering a nose bleed in the Queen’s Plate in January, Link Man made his comeback in May but ran downfield behind Delago Deluxe in the Golden Horse Casino Sprint and was sidelined again. He did not recover from a slow start in his first outing on the Vaal sand in the Hampton Handicap last month but in his most recent start showed all the signs that he might now be starting to live up to trainer Mike de Kock’s high regard.
De Kock has another four horses entered in the race, including last year’s Dingaans winner Silver Flyer and the co-favourites for the Sansui Summer Cup on 1 December, Ilha Bela and Mujaarib, who is unbeaten in three career starts and might be something special. Eighteen of the entries are rated 100 and higher, though, which means that Mujaarib, a 94, might not make the final cut.
Last year’s Charity Mile winner Pierre Jourdan has also been entered. He looked a trifle unlucky not to finish closer to Link Man in the Joburg Spring Challenge, getting balked when flying late and finishing fourth behind De Kock’s good-looking grey.
Smanjemanje, from the Tyrone Zackey yard, won last year’s Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m and more recently finished a close second in the Durban July after being hampered three times in running, is another top-class entry. He would probably prefer a longer distance.
Whiteline Fever, who was impressive in beating Ice Machine over 1450m at Clairwood recently, looks ideally suited to the distance and is likely to be a warm order with punters if he accepts to run.
He is trained by Sean Tarry, who has also entered Baracah, Buy And Sell, Roman Wall, Selborne Supremacy and The Mouseketeer.
Port Elizabeth-based trainer Hekkie Strydom has entered two runners, Act Of Supremeacy and Russian Mig.
The entries are:
ACT OF SUPREMEACY (J H Strydom); APPROACHABLE (G V Woodruff); ASTRO NEWS (B O Wiid); BARACAH (S G Tarry); BERRY BLAZE (M F De Kock); BROOKS-CLUB (M G Azzie); BUY AND SELL (S G Tarry); CHESALON (M G Azzie); EXTRA COVER (A G Laird); GLORIOUS JET (S J Gray); GOLDEN CREST (G V Woodruff); ILHA BELA (M F De Kock); KALAMI (R R Sage); KNOCK ON WOOD (O A Ferraris); LINK MAN (M F De Kock); MEADOW MAGIC (M F De Kock); MEISSA (G M Alexander); MUJAARIB (M F De Kock); NORTHERN EMPEROR (C Laird); PERANA (M F De Kock); PIERRE JOURDAN (G M Alexander); POTALA PALACE (M G Azzie); RIO CARNIVAL (C Laird); ROMAN WALL (S G Tarry); ROYAL BENCHER (A G Laird); RUSSIAN MIG (J H Strydom); SELBORNE SUPREMACY (S G Tarry); SILENT PARTNER (M F De Kock); SILVER FLYER (M F De Kock); SMANJEMANJE (T Zackey); SNOWDON (O A Ferraris); THE MOUSEKETEER (S G Tarry); WHITELINE FEVER (S G Tarry); WITTENBERG (G V Woodruff); YER-MAAN (S J Gray); ZORBA’S TALE (M N Houdalakis).