SWAN DUKE OF YORK CUP DAY : A HISTORIC SATURDAY IN STORE
The Swan – Duke Of York Cup takes centre stage in this Saturday’s 32nd meeting, with attention firmly fixed on the fourth and final classic of the season. This Group 1 contest at weight-for-age is expected to be a thriller from start-to-finish, and there are many horses that are capable of landing this golden event.
The trainer of Mauritius’ oldest stable will be attempting to write himself into the record books on Saturday. Ramapatee Gujadhur is bidding to become the first trainer in the modern era to win the Grand Slam – taking all four classic races. The winner of the Air Mauritius Maiden Cup Enaad is joined by Tandragee and Ready To Attack, two horses that have also won classic races. The Trainers’ championship figures heavily in this race, as champion trainer Gilbert Rousset looks to keep hold of his crown, against Rameshwar Gujadhur, who is bang on form. The trio of Prince Of Thieves, Karraar and Scotsnog has done nothing wrong throughout their Mauritian careers, and Gilbert Rousset will be hoping that any one of them can come out on top. Hard Day’s Night has been a source of satisfaction for the yard of Rameshwar Gujadhur, and they hope he can put a smile on their faces once again. The chances of Oomph must not be taken lightly either, as this impressive Three-year old champion looks to earn Jean-Michel Henry his first ever classic win.
After being absent last Saturday, the yard of Gujadhur and Steven Arnold are back in town, and are looking to make it a day to remember. Enaad aside, the Australian jockey has some good chances, most notably on Soweto Moon (race 3), Ryder Cup (race 4) and Without A Doubt (race 8).
One yard which must be watched very closely during this classic meeting is Amar Sewdyal’s. He has impressed mightily in his first season as a fully fledged trainer. He will be attempting to be in the limelight on this special day, and looking at the race card, he is capable of doing so. The likes of Rogue Runner (race 2), Var’s Dream (race 4), Victory Team (race 5) and In Your Dreams (race 7) all have good shots of making it.
The month of October has been very kind to the yard of Simon Jones, winning eight races. They can continue their hot streak in this classic meeting, with both Rumbullion and Imperial Dancer having a strong chance in race 7, while Euroklidon will be aiming to double the score in the final race. With both Rakesh Bhaugeerothee and Jameer Allyhosain riding in confidence lately, those three horses are capable of making it.
The Deacon makes his first start since his transfer to Amar Sewdyal’s yard. He has been a complete disappointment this season, after performing genuinely in the last campaign. He has been well looked after and it won’t be a surprise if he strikes for his new trainer. It Doesn’t Matter makes his first start since his transfer to Gilbert Rousset’s yard. He has gradually progressed in training and in this Benchmark; he can mount a bold bid with Rye Joorawon in the saddle. Political Power renewed with success in the Princess Margaret Cup meeting. Still in good nick, he is not prevented from confirming with Jean-Roland Boutanive riding him once again. IN YOUR FACE produced a strong debut showing in race meeting 27, finishing runner-up to Raheeb. He has benefited from that start and even in this Benchmark, he can run a cracker in this. Zen Master showed up well in his latest, landing 4th, just 1.9 lengths behind Sierra Redwood. A repeat of this showing can see him do even better here.
Top Tip: IN YOUR FACE
Dangers: It Doesn’t Matter, Political Power, The Deacon
Mount Hillaby tried his best on Maiden Cup day, finishing in 4th in Benchmark 46. He runs well fresh and in this lower category, he is capable of striking. Rogue Runner caught the eye in the 29th meeting. He finished 5th, but only 1.4 lengths behind Promissory. Now trained by Amar Sewdyal, he is down a Benchmark, and he is entitled to have a big say in this. VARADISO was drawn wide last time out, but he brushed that aside with a commanding win. He remains in excellent condition and in this first leg of the Place Accumulator, he must be included. Act Of Valor is without a win since the 2016 Barbe Cup meeting. He does have winning form in this class and he merits tons of respect in this. Brachetto and Megamuhti are good contenders for the lower placings.
Top Tip: VARADISO
Dangers: Rogue Runner, Act Of Valor, Mount Hillaby
This 1365 metre contest is the first leg of the Pick 6 and there are numerous contenders that can strike here. SOWETO MOON is one of them and he made quite an impression in his recent start by completing the podium. The expected hot pace is in his favour and he will be very hard to resist. Answeringenesis scored a commanding win on Maiden Cup day. Unfavourable circumstances meant that he missed out on the chance to make it a double in the 29th meeting. He will be very tough to run down if he gets a soft lead. Similar comments apply to Ice Run, who is on a hat-trick here. Sunset Breeze was an eye-catching third in his last attempt, a vastly improved showing after he was unplaced in his penultimate start. He merits serious consideration here. Outsiders worth considering include Fort Ozark and Noah’s Ark.
Top Tip: SOWETO MOON
Dangers: Ice Run, Answeringenesis, Sunset Breeze
Since striking on Derby day, Nation Builder has not come close to confirming. He did not make an impact in his latest, although he was competing in the elite. In this Benchmark, he should be competitive from the outset. Chinese Gold has been under-par recently, but he now finds himself running in this class in which he has struck three times. He looked in good shape in his workouts and he is rated as a good chance. Silver Bluff completed the quartet in an elite race in race meeting 28. He was a whopping 5.6 lengths behind The Tripster though. This former classic winner should have no problems in this class and merits consideration. Stable mate RYDER CUP came close to striking in his previous attempt. He remains in excellent condition and can go one better here. Var’s Dream was a beaten favourite in his previous attempt. Freshened up, he should be bang in the shake up, even in a far higher category. Five Star Rock was strongly fancied last time out and he made no mistake, opening his seasonal account in the process. He is a model of consistency and his chances of confirming look strong. The same is said for Promissory, who finally broke his duck in his recent run, winning from start-to-finish. He has been drawn perfectly in this contest.
Top Tip: RYDER CUP
Dangers: Five Star Rock, Promissory, Var’s Dream
Many horses merit inclusion in the first leg of the Pick 4, although the vote goes to VICTORY TEAM. After finishing runner-up to the late Beat The Retreat in the Hinterland Cup, he went one better in his previous attempt. Freshened up and with only 52 kg on his back, he will be very hard to stop if he gets a soft lead. Nordic Warrior can give the selection a real worry here. This Alain Perdrau-trained gelding opened his account for the season in his latest. Don’t rule him from doubling the score. Charles Lytton is in better shape and form compared to earlier in the season. He has been drawn in the ace and he can have a major say on proceedings. Ernie was stuck three-wide throughout the run in his last start. He is given another chance and must not be written off here. Mootahadee and Step To Fame are good contenders for the lower placings.
Top Tip: VICTORY TEAM
Dangers: Nordic Warrior, Charles Lytton, Ernie
6th Race The Swan – Duke Of York Cup
Ramapatee Gujadhur will be aiming to achieve what has not been done in 83 years, winning all four classic races in a season. His star horse ENAAD is back following his euphoric moment in the Maiden Cup. He runs well fresh and as he is in top order, he can earn Steven Arnold his third consecutive win in a classic. Stable mate Ready To Attack (Imran Chisty) routed the opposition just two meetings back, and his yard’s decision to enter him in this classic race must be fully respected. He remains on good terms with himself and he can make it here. Karraar was unstoppable in the Colonel Draper Cup, winning from start-to-finish. In good nick, he can double the score, and with Rye Joorawon on board once again, he has a jockey who certainly knows a thing or two about winning this race. Hard Day’s Night (Dinesh Sooful) might have been really unfortunate in the season’s first classic, but he has still managed to make a name for himself, winning the Four-year old championship. Having shown complete satisfaction at track work, he has landed the plum draw, and if he gets it right at the start, he can earn his yard yet another glamorous win. Oomph (Cedric Segeon) single-handedly took the Three-year old championship for Jean-Michel Henry’s yard, before scoring a dominant win in his first race since turning four. In excellent condition, he warrants plenty of respect in this contest, even if he is competing against proven opponents, and has been drawn widest of all. Scotsnog (Kersley Ramsamy) was a good-looking 3rd in his latest and that occurred over a short trip. He will appreciate running over the 1600 metres and as he is a very consistent sort, he merits serious consideration. Tandragee (Sunil Bussunt) was unable to make his presence felt in the Princess Margaret Cup. The winner of the Barbe Cup has come out very well from a break and was in outstanding form in his grass gallop. He has drawn very well and it won’t be a surprise if he does make it. Prince Of Thieves (Nishal Teeha) has been entered in this contest instead of the 5th race, a decision which must be respected. Runner-up in his last two races, he can make it third time lucky, having showed up well in his exercises.
Top Tip: ENAAD
Dangers: Karraar, Hard Day’s Night, Tandragee
IN YOUR DREAMS’ sole win on Mauritian soil came in last season’s Duke Of York Cup meeting. He has not come close since, although he did produce an eye-catching finish in his latest. He will appreciate running over the 1400 metres and if given a bold ride, he can make it. Imperial Dancer produced his best showing yet in his last attempt, finishing strongly to take 2nd place behind Promissory. He has dropped down two categories and another big run is forthcoming from him. Stable mate Rumbullion has performed solidly this season and in this contest, he is rated as a big player with Jameer Allyhosain riding him. Ready For Take Off has been striking the crossbar in his recent attempts, so it won’t be a surprise if he manages to set the record straight here. Elysian Park has been on the podium in each of his last two races. He has continued to progress and makes appeal in this.
Top Tip: IN YOUR DREAMS
Dangers: Imperial Dancer, Rumbullion, Ready For Take Off
Set off as favourite in race meeting 26, Without A Doubt returned the favour with a bold showing, scoring just his second win of his debut campaign. This Four-year old is an honest performer and he is capable of confirming from his plum draw. Kimberley has done nothing wrong in his debut season, striking once and finishing in the money in all of his other attempts. He was runner-up to Ramaas in his latest, running over 1850 metres. He should have no problems in tackling a trip that is 200 metres shorter and he should go close. JULLIDAR just narrowly failed to make it a hat-trick in his recent start. He is taken to rebound in this. Euroklidon scored a surprising win just two meetings ago. If he can reproduce that run, it won’t be a surprise to see him double the score. Rock Hard has shown up well in his recent attempts and he can be thereabouts again, while Redwood Valley and Ramaas are good contenders for the lower placings.
Top Tip: JULLIDAR
Dangers: Kimberley, Without A Doubt, Euroklidon
Ref : www.mauritiusturfclub.com