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Stories aplenty as first entries are unveiled for Cape Town Met

The names of the first entries for the WSB Cape Town Met on 28 January are interesting and revealing.

Young runners

Hotshot three-year-olds Charles Dickens and Cousin Casey are on the list, despite Cape Town’s biggest race seldom being a happy hunting ground for youngsters.

In the past 20 years, the filly Oh Susannah is the only ‘sophomore’ to have triumphed, but trainers Candice Bass-Robinson and Glen Kotzen clearly think their charges are out of the ordinary.

Reluctant travellers

The only trainers raiding the famous old race from outside Western Cape are Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry from Randjesfontein – which is a tad disappointing given the very generous incentives being offered by Cape Racing to entice more visitors to its summer season.

Perhaps the most conspicuous absentee is highly ambitious Turffontein conditioner Johan Janse van Vuuren, who landed the Summer Cup last weekend with Puerto Manzano and has a stable bristling with top-notch talent.

Safe Passage

De Kock’s entries, Sparkling Water and Safe Passage, might answer the question about which of his classy string will spearhead his Cape challenge.

Durban July champ Sparkling Water disappointed in the Summer Cup, starting as 3-1 favourite but finishing in midfield and looking less than fully wound up. By contrast, Safe Passage was his
belligerent best as runner-up and, if he takes to Kenilworth’s left- hand turn, will surely be in the reckoning.

Tarry’s star filly Rain In Holland is another early Met entry to have “disappointed” recently – when 2-1 favourite in a Pinnacle Stakes comeback run following a well-earned, post-Triple Tiara, six-month break.

Ricky Maingard

A famous figure of yesteryear, Ricky Maingard returns to the South African big time – after a decades-long sojourn in Mauritius.

His name is affixed to four-year-old Australian import Al Muthana – moving from De Kock’s care after a brilliant victory in the Gold Challenge at Greyville in July.

Justin Snaith

Cape Town training titan Justin Snaith bids for his second Met victory (aforementioned Oh Susannah being his sole winner so far) with a potentially five-strong team, headed up by 2022 runner-up Jet Dark and including Pomp And Power and Pacaya, from whom we are yet to see their best.

Defending champ

Kommetdieding is back to defend his Met title after a mildly disappointing year – by his standards.

He ran a cracking second in a recent feature sprint and Michelle Rix is tuning him up in the right way after a holiday.

The next step on the path is Saturday’s Grade 2 Green Point Stakes, where he meets no fewer than nine of the 26 Met first entries – including fierce foe Jet Dark.

First entries, WSB Cape Town Met (Grade 1) R2-million

2000m (alphabetical order):

Airways Law (Andre Nel) 112

Al Muthana [AUS] (Ricky Maingard) 125

Baratheon (Piet Botha) 96

Belgarion (Justin Snaith) 121

Chansonette (Andre Nel) 121

Charles Dickens (Candice Bass-Robinson) 121

Cousin Casey (Glen Kotzen) 115

Do It Again (Justin Snaith) 126

Gem King (Piet Steyn) 104

Golden Ducat (Eric Sands) 128

Jet Dark (Justin Snaith) 130

Kommetdieding (HWJ Crawford/M Rix) 129

Linebacker (Vaughan Marshall) 124

Marina (Candice Bass-Robinson) 117

Pacaya (Justin Snaith) 100

Pomp And Power (Justin Snaith) 118

Rain In Holland (Sean Tarry) 118

Rascallion (Vaughan Marshall) 124

Safe Passage (Mike de Kock) 124

Senso Unico (Vaughan Marshall) 108

Silvano’s Timer (Dean Kannemeyer) 109

Sparkling Water (Mike de Kock) 122

Universal (Adam Marcus) 114

Waterberry Lane (Dean Kannemeyer) 116

Winchester Mansion (Brett Crawford) 99

Zapatillas (Brett Crawford) 118

First supplementary entries are due by 11am on Monday 19 December.

Final supplementary entries are due by Monday 9 January 2023, on which date the weights will be published.

Declarations must be made by 11am on Wednesday 18 January.

The final field and barrier draws will be announced at an event on Wednesday 18 January 2023.

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