Although the Cape season doesn’t “officially” start until we get back to Kenilworth, this past week out at Durbanville has given us an exciting taste of what lies ahead, writes Gary Lemke for GGGaming.
Last Saturday we saw what might prove to be Candice Bass-Robinson’s best three-year-old colt, Trip Of Fortune, get the best of reigning Cape Guineas champion Russian Rock over 1400m, while Monday’s meeting saw her fillies Santa Maria and Amanzimtoti win in the manner which suggests they are Grade One potential.
Bass-Robinson finished the 2020/21 season with a record (for her) 104 winners, with one Grade One winner (the filly Zarina). She might have started the new season a little slowly with just two winners in August, but saddled 16 winners in September for what is a record monthly haul for her.
That put the Bass Racing stable tally on 18 after the first two months, which is three winners ahead of where they were at the corresponding time last year. All indications therefore are that 100 winners for this season is the absolute minimum Bass-Robinson will be targeting, and she’ll be looking to collect more than the one Grade One from 2020/21.
This weekend, at Durbanville, the temperature goes up a little bit more, because Bass-Robinson holds another strong hand. She is rather bullish about the chances of Marina who takes on the Justin-Snaith trained Captain’s Ransom in Saturday’s main event, the Grade 3 Diana Stakes over 1400m.
Marina is a full sister to 2017 Vodacom July winner Marinaresco and won six if her 10 races as a three-year-old. She is now four and is being aimed at the big fillies feature races in this Cape season. The 1400m on Saturday would seem to be too short for her, but the stable are confident of a big run. Captain’s ransom is the odds-on favourite, but Bass-Robinson had two fillies ahead of her in her last run, the Garden Province Stakes, when both Zarina and Chat Ching beat her home.
But at the weights Captain’s Ransom looks unbeatable. She is 18 pounds better at the merit ratings than Marina, but concedes only 3kg and despite coming off a 91-day break following that below par effort in KZN, she still looks a couple of lengths too strong here. It was in this race last year that she received 10kg from Clouds Unfold and won, so she’s defending her title her carrying 60kg and not 50kg. So, those trying to beat her might want to take Bass-Robinson’s confidence into account with Marina.
With racing at Durbanville on Saturday and again next Tuesday, the GGGaming-sponsored Bass Racing team should add to their season’s winners’ tally. I really like the look of Tchaikovsky in Saturday’s opening maiden and the colt will have come on from hs debut run, and now has the services of the brilliant Aldo Domeyer.
Cracklin’ Rose and Do Angels Cry also have winning chances for the stable on Saturday. On Tuesday though I’m quite excited about the Brett Crawford yard. He sends out the smart-looking colt Zapatillas in the third race over 1250m and Future Prince in the fifth race, and they can add to a winning tally that should start for Crawford in Saturday’s third race, with the promising stayer Kaptein.
All in all, as we get into spring, you can see the quality of horses coming out to play are betting than what we saw in the first six weeks of the season, on the wet, heavy tracks. So, carry a notebook around with you, because now’s the time of year where you’ll be looking at hgorses who will go on to win feature races at Kenilworth in a couple of month’s time.