ROAD TO DUBAI GOES FOR HRIB HAT-TRICK
Champion Sprinter Road to Dubai (above) will be trying for a hat-trick in the $13000 HRIB Gold Cup run over 1200m at Borrowdale Park on Saturday.
In 2015 he won carrying 52 kgs, scored again in 2016 with 54.5 kgs and this time Sherman Brown will weigh out on 57 kgs.
It would be great to see the son of The Sheik do it again – only wish he was not drawn right on the inside. That said I will definitely be holding fingers and thumbs.
Kirk Swanson’s charge is one of 12 contestants and three of them – Newton Power, Sheik’s Brashee and Comanche Brave – finished behind Road To Dubai in 2016. Of course there has been some swivelling with the weights since then. On Saturday Newton Power will carry 52 kgs rather 54 kgs, Sheik’s Brashee drops from 60.5 kgs to 59, while Comanche Brave hefts 61 kgs (up 9 kgs). Only Ashton Park (61.5) will carry more.
In the last five years (have no idea what happened before that) horses with most weight have not done so well. In 2012 the race was won by Penthouse (52 kgs); Approval Rating carried 55.5 kgs to victory in 2013, and On This Rock won with 54.5 kgs in 2014. Then came Road to Dubai carrying 52 kgs in 2015 and 54.5 kgs in 2016.
This time there are several lightly weighted rising stars in the HRIB line up – only time will tell.
AMY TRIES HER HRIB LUCK AGAIN
In the 2016 HRIB Gold Cup Amy Bronkhorst saddled two horses who finished in the first four – Newton Power (second) and Joint Horse Of The Year 2016/17 Comanche Brave (above) who ran fourth.
This time she sends both these runners out again, along with Life Is Good (Deon Sampson), Wylde Style (Daniel Frank) and Elegant Beauty (Kevin Derere). Norbert Takawira will ride Comanche Brave and Nicky Sibanda is on Newton Power.
It will be interesting to see how Amy’s newcomers fare on Saturday. Elegant Beauty is the lucky one, drawn 11 out of 12. The daughter of Main Aim (GB) will have 11 on her saddle cloth also.
AN IMPRESSIVE HANDFUL FOR THE HRIB
Fanie Chambers will ride Coachella (61 kgs) for Bridget Stidolph in the HRIB Gold Cup on Saturday.
In addition Bridget will field Super Good (55.5 kgs, drawn 12 and with Brendon McNaughton in the irons), Cabinda (55 kgs, Collen Storey) and El Gallo (52kgs, *Mpumelelo Mjoka). Apprentice allowances may not be claimed.
This is an impressive handful of sprinters although it remains to be seen if Coachella can handle that weight in this company. All have a chance of finishing in the money and I am not going to make any rash suggestions here.
Photograph Above: Super Good, winner of the 1100m Hachiman Sprint in July where Road To Dubai ran second.
CAN SHEIK’S BRASHEE GO CLOSER THIS YEAR?
Grand old man Ashton Park carries top weight (61.5 kgs) in Saturday’s HRIB Gold Cup. The eight-year-old gelding has won his last two starts over 1450m and 1800m and I am not going to suggest 1200m might be on the sharp side – we may get more rain.
Hennie Greyling rides Ashton Park, drawn 10 for Penny Fisher.
In the 2016 HRIB Sheik’s Brashee (above), also from the Fisher yard, finished third, 2.60 lengths off Road To Dubai and carrying 60.5 kgs. This time he weighs in at 59 kgs and will jump from the number 8 starting stall. On November 5 he finished third to Coachella over 1100m and on that occasion the winner was receiving 1.5 kgs. Sheik’s Brashee is slightly better off with Coachella here. Timothy Pretorius rides.
The HRIB Gold Cup is due off at 15.30 pm.