Trip Of Fortune can break drought

December 17, 2021

By Gary Lemke, supplied by

Candice Bass-Robinson has never won the Cape Guineas, one of the most prestigious three-year-old events for colts in the country. Mind you, her father, Mike Bass, won almost every major race himself, but the Guineas eluded him as well. But history might well be created on Saturday, writes Gary Lemke for

Since taking up head trainer duties following the retirement of her father in 2017, Bass-Robinson has made impressive strides. She became the first woman trainer to win the Vodacom July with Marinaresco that year and last season Zarina ensured that she wouldn’t go a season without winning a Grade One.

Now that we’re into the heat of the Cape season, Bass-Robinson is looking to build on a smart four-and-a-half months which have seen her rack up 40 winners to date. Last season she’d had 39 winners up until this stage, but it’s fair to say her feature race prospects weren’t quite as promising as they are this time around.

Bass-Robinson sends out the Cape Guineas favourite at Kenilworth on Saturday, the Drakenstein-bred Trip Of Fortune (pictured). The Trippi colt finished second on debut before winning his next four starts in the manner of a talented individual. How he runs his races makes him ideally suited to the Guineas in that he likes to come from off the pace. The long (600m) straight at Kenilworth, coupled with the fact a stiff south-easter is forecast to make it difficult for the front-runners, plus a draw in the middle of the field makes him a worthy favourite.

Although, the race has scant respect for the betting, with Russian Rock springing a 100-1 surprise last year. But Trip Of Fortune has always been viewed by Bass-Robinson as being her Guineas hope and while it’s staggering to think that her father didn’t pick up this Grade One, this is surely the stable’s best chance of winning this race in many years.

Last year’s winning trainer Dean Kannemeyer won’t be giving up the mantle without a fight and he has three smart sorts himself, with Cosmic Highway and Waterberry Lane being the pick.

Punters will have noticed that the fancied runners in the field have poor draws, which will mean that the likes of Waterberry Lane and Good Traveller will have their supporters given their good draws and that they’re the top-two merit rated in the field. But it’s a bit of a lottery and although Trip Of Fortune might finally give Bass Racing their first Cape Guineas winner, he’s no sure thing.

That sure thing might come in the fifth race where Bass Racing sends out the sister to the 2017 July winner Marinarsco. Marina races a lot like her brother, preferring to sit off the pace and then sweep forward in a matter of strides and she’s won seven of 12 starts already. Depending on how she goes in this Grade Three Victress Stakes, the stable hasn’t ruled out the chances of her lining up in the Met in January. She should be the day’s banker on Saturday though.

Bass Racing also fancy their chances in the Need For Speed sprint, third race over 1000m, with African Rain. The four-time winner from nine starts ticks all the right boxes, but does carry 60kg and gives chunks of weight away all around. However, last time he was ridden from off the pace, and those tactics could work well again in the teeth of the south-easter.

There is also the aptly-named Southeaster Sprint on the card. Resonate, Bereave and Safe Return all catch the eye in this race.

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