midmar rivalry

FAVOURED: Four-year-old gelding Ivory Trail is a seasoned horse tipped to take the Midmar Premier Trophy by storm on Sunday. © Unknown.
FAVOURED: Four-year-old gelding Ivory Trail is a seasoned horse tipped to take the Midmar Premier Trophy by storm on Sunday. © Unknown.

THE season's Grade 2 Midmar Premier Trophy has attracted a strong field of seasoned gallopers headed by Champions Cup (Gr 1) winner Ivory Trail, two former Canon Gold Cup (Gr 1) winners Mokaro and Diamond Quest, and recent Ocean Basket Green Point Stakes (Gr 2) winner Fabiani amongst a full field of 16 runners.

THE season's Grade 2 Midmar Premier Trophy has attracted a strong field of seasoned gallopers headed by Champions Cup (Gr 1) winner Ivory Trail, two former Canon Gold Cup (Gr 1) winners Mokaro and Diamond Quest, and recent Ocean Basket Green Point Stakes (Gr 2) winner Fabiani amongst a full field of 16 runners.

The Midmar is a vital cog in the Cape Sizzling Summer Season and one of the main build-up races to the J&B Met to be run at the end of January. A stake of R300000 adds to the cause. The Midmar will be run over 1800m at Kenilworth Racecourse on Sunday.

Joint top weight Ivory Trail was disappointing in the recent Ocean Basket Green Point Stakes and trainer Joey Ramsden will be looking for a better effort this time round.

Ocean Basket winner Fabiani was the surprise package of that race after the late withdrawal of hot favourite and stable companion Big City Life. However, this left the way clear for first-choice stable rider Karis Teetan to switch to Fabiani, and the young Mauritian apprentice gave the gelding a superb ride to get the better of the smart filly, Sparking Gem, in a grandstand finish.

Last season Fabiani finished second to Market Cap in the Winter Derby over 2400m, and so this 1800m trip will hold no fears.

Mokaro, Diamond Quest and Noblewood, runner-up to Mokaro in the Canon Gold Cup, are all likely to be using this race as a springboard into the J&B Reserve Stayers to be run on Met day - but each has enough class to pull through on the day.

Among the bottom weights, Cape champion jockey Karl Neisius has declared a half-kilo over on the Mike Bass-trained Fort Vogue but that should not detract from the chances of this son of Fort Wood. Neisius, a veteran of the saddle, has been in mustard form of late and Fort Vogue strikes as a late maturing horse that can make his mark in a race of this nature.

Red Rake is a strong front runner who could make the pace for trainer Basil Marcus under jockey Sean Cormack.

X