TRAINER Mike Bass must have been in a good mood after the draw for the R2,5million J&B Met (Gr 1) while Basil Marcus was very pleased with the pole position draw for his front running stalwart, Red Rake.
The draw for the Western Cape's biggest race to be run over 2000m at Kenilworth racecourse on January 30 was made at the course before yesterday's race meeting.
Red Rake's draw was awaited with interest as he is certain to be the pacemaker.
"From draw one to eight would have been good so draw one is a benefit. He won't have to work too hard to get to the front. Now we will just have to see whether he's good enough," Marcus said.
He sai d that how beneficial the draw was would also depend on how the race panned out.
The bookmakers reacted to the draw by shortening Red Rake from 20-1 to 12-1.
In a field of 18, the champion Pocket Power drew in stall two, while Bass's other charges Fort Vogue, Diamond Quest, River Jetez and Blue Tiger also received good draws in stalls four, seven, nine and 10 respectively.
Pocket Power's inside berth is even better considering he has Red Rake on his inside and the hold-up horse Kapil on his outside. Bernard Fayd'herbe might want to get him handy to avoid being shuffled back on the rail as he was in the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate.
Pocket Power's winning draws in the previous three runnings of the Met have been nine, four and eight, while his draw this year of two has been the winning draw twice in the past 20 years.
The most popular winning draw in this period has been four, with four victories, so that augurs well for Fort Vogue.
The second favourite, the Charles Laird-trained Dan De Lago, drew well in stall eight, while his stablemate and third favourite Oracy drew very wide in stall 17.
Anton Marcus immediately jumped ship from Oracy to Dan De Lago as he had done for the same reason in the Vodacom Durban July when jumping from Smart Banker on to Our Giant.
Big City Life did not draw the magical number 10 barrier position from which he has won all three of his Grade 1 races. He drew 14.
His stablemate Fabiani, who dead-heated with him in the Queen's Plate, drew perfectly in five.
If he is as effective over 2000m as a mile, he will be a huge runner, being 2,5kg better off with Pocket Power for a 1,25 length beating in the Queen's Plate.
Stan Elley would have been pleased with Kapil's draw at three as he will surely be dropped out early so the draw for him is never important.