SATURDAY’s Gr1 Investec Cape Derby over 2000m could be a boat race between Joey Ramsden’s top class Act Of War and what Sporting Post describes as a “low-profile Mike de Kock bomb in the unbeaten Ertijaal”.
In a preview of the R1-million race to be contested at Kenilworth, Sporting Post notes that, “The winners of the last three years of the Gr1 Investec Cape Derby look like serious future stallion prospects in the making and, while it is early days yet, the top-class Act Of War looks likely to follow in their giant footsteps. But Mike de Kock may have other ideas with his Australian export.”
The Arc En Ciel bred Act Of War has swept all before him in a stunning rise to prominence since winning a low key maiden race on a cold day in May last year.
All that the fiery Ertijaal needs is some war paint! He looks ready to stake a big Derby claim.
Since then he has grown in confidence, winning two Gr3’s, a Gr2 and culminating his soaring rise into the clouds by beating the highly vaunted Harry’s Son in the Gr1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas.
Act Of War goes for seven in a row on Saturday, in what could well be the last time we see him race on SA soil, and he will have plenty of supporters.
He races off an MR of 117 versus a next best of 102, what, or who, can beat Act Of War?
In a nutshell – it is his first time beyond a mile. Having shown no stamina limitations with the manner of his emphatic victories, it is fair to conclude that blood and ability will carry the day.
There is no question that his sire will infuse the yards to get the 2000m. He is out of a Cordoba mare, who won 4 races up to a mile. The family have not performed at much further than that but Act Of War looks the classic standout.
Mike de Kock brings the undefeated in three, Australian-bred Ertijaal, to Cape Town.
With proven stamina and an electrifying turn of foot, Ertijaal looks very exciting. The Listed Sea Cottage Stakes winner won his first two starts by an aggregate of 16 lengths, before his peak run in the Turffontein 1800m feature.
Admittedly rushed to get to this point, after his career was delayed due to setbacks, including colic surgery, Ertijaal faces his biggest test on Saturday – and may well be equal to the task.
Gavin Lerena has won twice on him and gets the nod again from a fair draw.
After Alboran Sea clinched a big win for the yard in last Saturday’s Gr1 Cape Flying Championship, De Kock will be keen to pencil his 103rd Gr1 win into his freshly audited statistics register.
In summary, it looks a boat race between Act Of War and Ertijaal. If it was a mile, we would suggest Act Of War is a good thing. Over 400m further, don’t discount Ertijaal.