JACKSON, joint favourite at 5-2 for this year’s J&B Met, will have to jump from barrier No 14 when the gates open for the R2.5-million race to be run over 2000m at Kenilworth on Saturday 1 February.
It appears that none of the favourites drew too well but trainer Dennis Drier was quite happy that co-favourite Master Of My Fate has drawn at No 9.
Master Of My Fate, drawn in the middle of the pack.
There was also no joy for L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Capetown Noir nor 10-1 shot Jet Explorer from the in-form Justin Snaith. They will be placed in barriers No 10 and No 12 respectively. Trainer Gavin van Zyl must surely think the Gods are against him as No Worries ended up widest of all in barrier No 18.
Brett Crawford, trainer of Jackson, was philosophical about their wide draw. “We will have to see what kind of speed there is in the race and go from there. (Jockey) Glen (Hatt) may have to drop him out and run on at the end. Fortunately the summer course straight is long enough to do that.”
Another who would have preferred a lower number is Karl Neisius, rider of Capetown Noir. “We will have to work on a new strategy. Perhaps sit in and wait for the straight.”
The Western Winter gelding has shown a distinct preference for the longer straight of the summer course and if there is no early pace, Neisius indicated that Capetown Noir’s blistering turn of foot may come in handy in the finish. “I see no obvious pacemaker, except for No Worries, but having drawn at No 18, they may also decide to drop out and wait.”
Drier, on the other hand, was over the moon. “I can’t really complain. It could have been a lot worse!”
The low numbers all seemed to go the way of the raiders, with pole position going to Kom Naidoo-trained Royal Zulu Warrior. Geoff Woodruff must have popped a champagne cork when the talented Yorker drew in barrier No 2, followed by stable companion Master Sabina next door in barrier No 3. To complete the run of good luck for the Woodruff yard Greg Cheyne promptly drew barrier No 5 for the diminutive Do You Remember. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Cheyne. She has settled in and if she reproduces her form from last year, she must be in with a very good chance.”
Derek Brugman had his head in his hands after Hill Fifty Four again drew an outside stall ending up in barrier No 15, after jumping from barrier No 14 last year. Luckily Yogas Govender was on hand to offer some consolation, pointing out that last year’s winner Martial Eagle had jumped from barrier No 15.
Trainer Sean Tarry showed he has nerves of steel as he waited for Marsh Shirtliff to draw Whiteline Fever’s spot with only barriers No 8 and No 15 still available. Luckily for Tarry, Shirliff’s luck held as the No 8 was revealed. “He did an unbelievable job under pressure and I am delighted with the draw,” commented Tarry.
Final field for the R2.5-million J&B Met (Grade 1) to be run over 2000m at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday 1 February.
1 – 14 JACKSON (B Crawford) G Hatt 60.0 – 118
2 – 10 CAPETOWN NOIR (D Kannemeyer) K Neisius 60.0 – 112
3 – 6 WYLIE HALL (W H Marwing) S Khumalo 60.0 – 109
4 – 2 YORKER (G V Woodruff) R Fradd 60.0 – 108
5 – 9 MASTER OF MY FATE (D R Drier) S Cormack 58.0 – 114
6 – 8 WHITELINE FEVER (S G Tarry) G Lerena 58.0 – 111
7 – 15 HILL FIFTY FOUR (V H Marshall) A Marcus 58.0 – 110
8 – 1 ROYAL ZULU WARRIOR (K Naidoo) K Zechner 58.0 – 110
9 – 4 ICE MACHINE (D Kannemeyer) K Shea 58.0 – 109
10 – 12 JET EXPLORER (S J Snaith) R Fourie 58.0 – 109
11 – 7 KING OF PAIN (J Ramsden) B Fayd’Herbe 58.0 – 108
12 – 16 LAKE ARTHUR (Y Govender) A Domeyer 58.0 – 107
13 – 18 NO WORRIES (G H Van Zyl) P Strydom 58.0 – 107
14 – 3 MASTER SABINA (G V Woodruff) R Danielson 58.0 – 104
15 – 17 HOT TICKET (D Kannemeyer) G Behr 58.0 – 103
16 – 13 PUNTA ARENAS (S Elley) G van Niekerk 58.0 – 101
17 – 11 AWESOME POWER (G R Puller) M Yeni 58.0 – 97
18 – 5 DO YOU REMEMBER (G V Woodruff) G Cheyne 57.5 – 108
Same Trainer: (2,9,15) (4,14,18)