The Daily News 2000 to point the way forward
The R1,5-million Gr 1 Daily News 2000, a traditional pointer for 3yo’s to the Hollywoodbets Durban July, heads the 9-race programme at Hollywoodbets Greyville today. There is also the R1-million Woolavington 2000 (Gr 1) for Fillies and Mares and the R200 000 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup (Gr 3) over 2400m to look forward to. The first race gets under way at 11:40 with the Daily News 2000 set be run at 15:12.
Ruling favourite, See It Again is a three-parts brother to dual Durban July winner Do It Again and this impressive Gr 1 Splashout Cape Derby winner will be hard to beat in the Daily News 2000. However, he is often slow away and takes a bit of time to wind up his devastating finish, so a draw of seven out of ten is going to be tricky for the legendary Piere Strydom to negotiate. No doubt a genuine pace will help his cause and the two Highveld raiders, Derby winner Son Of Raj and River Romeo, appear most likely to spearhead the field early.
Without Question has 2,50 lengths to make up on See It Again from the Cape Derby form, but this long-strider is highly progressive. Trained by Justin Snaith and ridden by Richard Fourie, he won the Variety Club Mile over 1600m at the beginning of the month and will strip a very fit horse.
Cousin Casey, the Champion 2yo of last Season, is very much at home at Greyville, having won a Gr 1, a Gr 2 and a Listed race at this course. He is related to the 2009 July winner Big City Life, so will relish this trip and he should have come on from his last run when fourth in the WSB Guineas. This will be the third run of his current KZN campaign and his well-being and fitness is not in question.
Anfields Rocket sports blinkers for the first time and if they help him get into the race earlier and do not blunt his strong finishing speed, he will be an interesting runner. He won the SA Classic (Gr 1) over 1800m back in March and, being out of a mare by Galileo, the distance of 2000m should not pose a problem. Louis Mxothwa rides in the silks of the Hollywood Syndicate who have enjoyed an outstanding season to date.
Mike de Kock saddles Shoemaker and Dave The King. Shoemaker looked top class early in his career but then lost his way and was gelded in March. His two runs since then have been encouraging and today’s race will give De Kock a clear indication of where he stands with the son of Gimmethegreenlight. Dave The King is a big horse who has yet to be tested beyond 1600m. He stayed on really well when second in the Gold Rush and third in the recent WSB Guineas but he is not certain to get the trip this afternoon.
The selection is for See It Again to beat Without Question with Cousin Casey, Anfields Rocket and Dave The King next best.
The decision to open the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 to Fillies and Mares of all ages was vindicated when 14 quality runners stood their ground for the 2023 renewal.
Rain In Holland missed this race last year, but comes here in good form and will try and notch up her second career Gr 1 victory at Hollywoodbets Greyville. S’Manga Khumalo rides Rain In Holland for the second time, having won aboard the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade in the Colorado King Stakes back in March.
Last year’s Woolavington winner Silver Darling beat Rain In Holland by a comfortable 2,75 lengths when finishing a fine 1,55 length third in the Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes over 1800m behind Make It Snappy and Captain’s Ransom back in January. She is drawn 14 out of 14, but having Richard Fourie aboard is definitely a positive and Silver Darling could make history by becoming the first dual winner of the Woolavington 2000.
None Other has a fine pedigree for middle distances and beyond and the recent SA Oaks winner is an interesting runner here considering this is just her second start beyond 1800m. With Fourie riding Silver Darling, JP Van Der Merwe has been engaged to ride the Flower Alley filly for trainer Lucky Houdalakis and owner Mary Slack.
Saartjie was probably the unluckiest horse in the WSB Fillies Guineas at the beginning of the month and, if able to overcome a wide draw, will make her presence felt over a trip she has already proven her prowess. Marina, half-sister to former July winner Marinaresco, has won her only start over today’s track and trip and is rated with a big chance if she can recover her very best form.
Gilded Butterfly obliterated a quality field in the Grade 2 WSB Gerald Rosenberg Stakes over 2000m at Turffontein a month ago. That was her first start over 2000m and it was run in a time two seconds quicker than the Gr 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge time on the same day. She is clearly top class and could be the source of an upset result, especially as Champion-elect Keagan de Melo has been booked for the ride.
Lady Of Power, winner of the WSB Gauteng Fillies Guineas earlier this year, will likely make a bid to dictate the pace and draw two is ideal over a trip this long-strider should enjoy. Peach Dacquiri stayed on well to win the Grade 2 WSB Fillies Guineas three weeks ago and, although the chief protagonists were involved in a melee behind her, she should relish this step up in trip, being closely related to former Cape Derby winner Pomp And Power. Hold My Hand was one of those who suffered interference in the WSB Fillies Guineas and she could be a factor over this extended trip.
Gilded Butterfly is easy to back at 12/1 in the early betting exchanges but I fancy her to come home ahead of None Other, Saartjie, Rain In Holland and Hold My Hand.
LONSDALE STIRRUP CUP
One Way Traffic comes alive in KZN and loves this course, so is fancied to beat Future Pearl in the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup (Gr 3) over 2400m. One Way Traffic ran third in this race last year before going on to win the “July” consolation but a dominant victory this afternoon could see him make the final field for this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July.