CAN COACHELLA DO IT AGAIN?

 If everyone runs true to form it is difficult to look further than Coachella, Super Good, and possibly Flanders and Road To Dubai, in Saturday’s main feature, the $15000 HRIB Gold Cup.

However, several untried runners in this company have weight on their side, and the chances are we will be shocked somewhere along the line.

It is a competitive field which always makes for good racing.

HRIB GOLD CUP SPRINT (Grade 3) Open WFA: 3yrs-4.0kgs  – No Apprentice Allowance

COACHELLA Drawn 4 – 63 kgs – MR 103 – W. Marwing – Bridget Stidolph – 5-year-old gelding by Alado (GB) – 7 wins, 6 places, 16 starts. Winner of the 2018 HRIB Gold Cup (Gr3) in 2017 carrying 61 kgs. Super Good (55kgs) was 0.10 lengths behind, while Road To Dubai (57 kgs) and 1.10 lengths back ran fourth. Sprinting is Coachella’s game, he has seldom gone beyond 1260m and did not shine when doing so. Has a bit more to do this time but should still be hard to beat.

SUPER GOOD Drawn 7 – 60kgs – MR 97 – J. Sampson – Bridget Stidolph -5-year-old gelding by Announce – 7 wins, 21 places, 36 starts. Super Good and Coachella are old rivals and Super Good may require a bit more weight on his side to turn the tables. There has been rain about and if it continues this may suit Super Good in that he can handle a bit further. He won the 1450m Breeders Sprint on July 29. In any event Super Good is likely to give a good account of himself.

KINGSTON PASSAGE – Drawn 8 – 57 kgs – MR 91 – N. Takawira – Kirk Swanson -5-year-old gelding by Western Winter (USA) – 3 wins, 3 places, 10 starts. Kingston Passage won three of his nine races in the Western Cape, all over 1000m. In fact the only time this son of Western Winter has raced further was in September when he disappointed over 1200m. This was his only start at Borrowdale Park so he is difficult to assess. He is likely to strip fitter now.

TAR HEEL – Drawn 3 – 57 kgs – MR 91 – J. Greyling – Penny Fisher – 6-year-old gelding by Var (USA) – 4 wins, 8 places, 32 starts. Another dark horse who has not raced at Borrowdale Park. Won previously in the Cape over 1000m and 1200m but failed to shine in his three starts in Gauteng – last race on September 29. Must respect on breeding.

PEGGSON – Drawn 1 – 53 kgs – MR 83 – B. McNaughton – Bridget Stidolph – 4-year-old colt by Jay Peg – 3 wins, 7 places, 16 starts. Prominent in the 2017 three-year-old Classics and second to Simona in the 1800m OK Grand Challenge. Has won a race over 1200m but not in this class of field. Usually shines over more ground but who knows?

BUTCHIE BOY – Drawn 6 – 52 kgs – MR 78 – K. Derere – Bridget Stidolph – 4-year-old gelding by Crusade (USA) – 4 wins, 9 places, 13 starts. Won the Zimbabwe Guineas and beat stable mate Flanders in the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap in 2017, when in receipt of 3 kgs. Has more to do in this competitive field.

EDWARD THE SEVENTH (ZIM) Drawn 5 – 52 kgs – MR 76 – *N. Klink – Kirk Swanson – 4-year-old gelding by Seventh Rock (AUS) – 4 wins, 4 places 10 starts. Three of his four wins have been over the HRIB distance but like most of his peers he is taking on the big boys here. Claiming apprentice Nathan Klink has the ride but no allowances in this feature.

FLANDERS Drawn 2 – 52 kgs – MR 81 – C. Storey +1.0 – Bridget Stidolph – 4-year-old gelding by Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – 6 wins, 8 places, 16 starts. Has won from 1100m to 1450m. On November 3 in a 1100m MR 97 Handicap he met Coachella, Road to Dubai and Super Good, starting favourite. Coachella won followed by Flanders (receiving 9kgs), Road to Dubai (also receiving 9 kgs) and Super Good who met the winner at level weights. Either one draws a line through that or assumes that Coachella will win. On that occasion Flanders was four lengths back.

ROAD TO DUBAI Drawn 9 – 52 kgs – MR 80 – M. Thackeray – Kirk Swanson – 7-year-old gelding by The Sheik – 9 wins, 14 places, 32 starts. Road To Dubai won the HRIB Gold Cup in 2015 and 2016, and finished fourth in 2017, 1.10 lengths behind Coachella when receiving 4 kgs. Drawn near the outside which usually helps in Borrowdale Sprints and has recently shown some signs of a return to form.

TWILIGHT TRIP Drawn 10 – 52 kgs – MR 73 – *L. Tarentaal – Bridget Stidolph – 5-year-old gelding by Trippi (USA) – 3 wins, 11 places, 18 starts. Twilight Trip has the outside draw. Has raced three times at Borrowdale, finishing a close second to Bush Pilot over 1200m and fourth to Knuckleball over 1800m. Judging by previous form in the Cape this five-year-old gelding prefers and has usually run further than Saturday’s distance.

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