eLan Gold Cup: Trainer Comments

Jockey Rides Brown Horse

Trainer comments for the upcoming eLan Gold Cup taking place at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday 28 July. 

As the curtain closes on another hugely successful Winter Season in KZN, many champions of the turf clash on Super Saturday at Greyville racecourse. The action-packed 12-race card features a quartet of Grade 1 events, highlighted by the Worlds Sports Betting Champions Cup but the crowd’s favourite contest will surely be the two-mile marathon event of the Grade 3 eLan Gold Cup which starts really close to the grandstand.

WINNING FORM caught up with those behind the scenes with regards to their chances of claiming the coveted first prize in the country’s premier staying race.

Trainer Dean Kannemeyer has two entrants: the strongly fancied recent Gold Vase winner, IT’S MY TURN along with the improving ONE MAN SHOW. He had the following to say regarding his duo. “They have both come out of their Gold Vase runs very well. I am hoping for a steady gallop and I will leave the rest up to the two top jockeys I have riding both horses. It’s My Turn gives weight to other horses but he did it in the Gold Vase with 60kgs so I am just hoping for the best. My biggest possible dangers could be the Snaith coupling and you always have to look for a horse that stays well in the Gold Cup.”

KZN conditioner Paul Lafferty, the charismatic ‘Mr Laff’ as he is affectionately known has entered July flop, DARK MOON RISING into this test of stamina. Of course, it has been well-documented that world-class jockeys Anton Marcus and Anthony Delpech remarked on a few occasions that Lafferty may never train a better stayer in his career. ”He is doing very well at the moment and I’ve always thought he would stay all day. Made To Conquer and It’s My Turn are the horses to beat in my opinion,” were Laff’s parting shot to the team.

Legendary jockey Andrew Fortune took some time off his hectic schedule to chat to us with regards to his newly turned trainer wife, Ashley’s entrant LET IT RAIN. “He has a lot of weight but he goes the trip. We think we have sorted out small issues he had and we are hoping.”

Another Gauteng representative is renowned trainer Joey Soma who saddles the former KZN based runner KITTY’S DESTINY who has developed into a high-class stayer on the Highveld. Soma had the following remarks, “He is currently fit and moving well. I think he is the best outsider in the race with Khumalo riding. My biggest dangers could be Made To Conquer depending on how much the July run took out of him and my fellow Gauteng rival & defending champion Hermoso Mundo who we have faced before, he stays well.”

The granddad/grandson training partnership of Ivan and Darryl Moore represents the locals with their vastly improved three-year-old BALLYMAINE. The ‘young gun’ Darryl was ecstatic to have a runner in the Gold Cup even though he knows they are up against some of the country’s top-quality stayers and this is what he had to say regarding his charge’s chances. “His prep has gone well and he is also well within himself. We know it’s a tough ask but we're hoping for the best. The pace is always unpredictable, you saw what happened in the July. Made To Conquer and It’s My Turn are the horses to beat in my opinion.”

Port Elizabeth based conditioner Jacques Strydom is also excited to have two runners in this prestigious staying event which has been won by the likes of Cereus and Stateway from the ‘windy city’ in the past. The yard’s duo of DESERT WISDOM and FRIKKIE stay really well and their conditioner added the following, “Both preps have gone really well. Just a bit concerned about Desert Wisdom’s draw. I am hoping for a decent pace for him though, but a slow pace will suit Frikkie a lot. The horse to beat in the race is the well-fancied Gold Vase winner It’s My Turn.”

Top-class Gauteng based trainer Alec Laird has just the solitary entrant in the event and on the day in the form of Sheet Weaver who was not far behind current favourite It’s My Turn in the Gold Vase on July Day. The astute Laird is under no illusions regarding the size of his charge’s task and he commented, “His last run was good. He never suffered a penalty but is still out at the weights. The pace is sometimes slow in the Gold Cup because nobody thinks they will stay 2 miles. It’s My Turn is an obvious danger and Hermoso Mundo seems to be peaking at the right time now.”

Public Relations Officer for Team Snaith (champion trainer-elect), Jonathan Snaith was the ever consummate professional with his comments regarding their trio, “Made To Conquer just gets better and better, despite top weight we are expecting a huge effort from him again. His work is phenomenal. There should be a pace looking at the field. Strathdon’s prep has gone perfectly and will turn around his last run where there was no pace. We feel there will be a good pace this year. One Direction is improving with each and every run and carries little weight with a great draw. He could be upset potential and our biggest danger is Kannemeyer’s horse It’s My Turn.”

Winning Form sponsored and top Kwa-Zulu Natal conditioner Duncan Howells was cool, calm and collected when commenting on his talented sort Wild Wicket after not being disgraced in a Grade 3 event on July Day “He is a very fit horse. He has come out of the July consolation well and was unlucky not to be closer when he was baulked for a run at the 150m mark. The pace will probably be a crawl and the horses to beat in the race are Made To Conquer, It’s My Turn and Sheet Weaver.”

Last season’s champion trainer Sean Tarry saddles the recent KZN Oaks Victress, WITCHCRAFT. He commented, “She is well. I am not sure about the pace and it seems open but the Kannemeyer and Snaith entrants are the biggest dangers.”

Trainer’s Weiho Marwing and Candice Dawson were unavailable for comment.

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