The first Group 1 race of the 2023 season will be run this Saturday and a battle between the two champions Frosted Gold and The Gatekeeper is expected. Twist Of Fate and Undercover Agent will be decent outsiders.
Frosted Gold is the horse to beat in this race. He won six races in Mauritius, four of them in Group 1 races. They are The Princess Margaret Cup (1400m – G1) and The Duke Of York Cup (1600m – G1) in 2021, and he won in The Barbe Cup (1600m – G1) and The Maryse Justin Memorial Cup (1400m – G1) in 2022.
The grey horse owned by Jean Michel Lee Shim and Ricky Maingard was mysteriously injured during his victory in the Maryse Justin Memorial Cup in 2022. He returned with a deep laceration ont the side which required stitches and rest. This disrupted his preparation for the 2022 Gold Cup and Frosted Gold took third place.
He resumed competition on June 3, 2023 after seven months of rest. Frosted Gold has won easily without being pushed too hard. He finished his race by achieving 33.72 seconds for the last 600m without being whipped.
Frosted Gold took to his race very well. He has made a lot of progress and is in top form in training. He had a good draw at the start. Which means that he will have put no effort to find an good position while waiting for the right moment to place his attack. Irish jockey Stephen Donohoe will always have The Gatekeeper in his sights and he will go to clash in the final straight.
The Gatekeeper will be the main danger for Frosted Gold. He is an extremely consistent horse who bagged five wins and two second places in seven outings in Mauritius. He was crowned champion of 4-year-old horses last year. His two defeats were in The Maiden Cup (2400m – G1) and The Barbe Cup (1600m – G1).
The Gatekeeper has already won two races this season carrying 62 kg on his back over 1500m. He is in top form and he will be a tough opponent. He will start from the plum draw, and he will have the advantage of having Rai Joorawon in the saddle. The jockey with the most wins at Champ-de-Mars racecourse has already won with Frosted Gold and Twist Of Fate. He knows very well the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents and he can try a tactical move.
Undercover Agent is also a classy horse that did well for its comeback race, taking third place at 1.85L from The Gatekeeper. He has already won in The Barbe Cup over 1600m in 2021 from start to finish. He will be dangerous if he races ahead unchallenged.
Twist Of Fate will return to competition after eight months of rest. He won the most prestigious race on the Mauritian horse racing calendar, The Maiden Cup (2400m – G1) in 2022. He was injured in the Gold Cup last year and he seems fully recovered. He does well on his freshness, but he might miss a race under the belt to compete with Frosted Gold and The Gatekeeper this time.
Race 1 – 990m (0-25)
Walking On Wings – Waimea – Honokalani – Badawee
Race 2 – 1600m (0-15)
The Gypsy King – Gonnabealright – Special Force – Misty Roller
Race 3 – 990m – B36
Straight – Captainofthesea – Captain Mike – Mauritius
Race 4 – 1400m (0-20)
African Fate – Chief Rafeef – Royal Virtue – Al Jazeera
Race 5 – 1400m – B66
Nourbese – Bless My Path – Balouchi – Emerald Band
Race 6 – 1400m – 3YO
Alpine Challenge – Colour Of Money
Race 7 – 1600m – G1
Frosted Gold – The Gatekeeper – Undercover Agent
Race 8 – 1500m – B51
Free To Win – Prince Of Venice – Seattle Kid – Footy Goal
Race 9 – 990m – B46
Illicit Kiss – Elmo – Captain Garett – Spry
- Top wins: Frosted Gold – Nourbese – Alipine Challenge
- Value bets: African Fate – Free To Win
- Outsiders: Spry – The Gypsy King
Frosted Gold last win
The Gatekeeper last win
Undercover Agent last win
Twist Of Fate last win
Apprentice Sonaram suspended for 8 weeks
Apprentice M. Sonaram suspended from riding in races for 8 Race Meetings. The period of suspension starts on 15 July 2023.
Apprentice charged under Rule 43.2.10 on Friday. Details of the charge are that on July 1 2023 in Race 1, run at the Champ de Mars racecourse, despite having the opportunity to do so, he failed to ride Doublethink to the trainer’s instructions, which were to bounce to lead. Apprentice Sonaram pleads not guilty, but he was found guilty.