The first big race of the 2022 season will be run on Saturday June 10 at the Champ-de-mars racecourse. Trainer Ramapatee Gujadhur will be well armed with three runners to snatch another win in The Indian Oil Duchess Of York Cup.
The MTC Sports and Leisure Ltd (MTCSL) finally agreed to pay for its Horse Racing Organiser’s licence and will host the second race meeting. The main event will be the first classical race of the season, The Indian Oil Duchess Of York Cup, a Group 2 race reserved for new horses and to be run over 1400m at Weight-for-age (WFA) with penalties.
Known as ‘Mr Classic’, trainer Ramapatee Gujadhur has pinned seven Duchesses to date – Hinterland, T-Rex, Il Saggiatore, Bulsara, Silver Bluff, Ready To Attack, Ehsaan. With three suitors for this edition, he is well placed to hang an 8th crown on his scorecard. He will have three runners with of Royal Wulff and Shah Akbar and the filly Ziva La Winter.
Among the three runners of the Gujadhur stable, it is obviously Royal Wulff who caught the eye. This son of Crusade is a model of consistency. He has four wins and seven places in eleven outings in South Africa. Royal Wulff has won twice over 1160m, and his other two victories have come over 1200m and 1450m.
Royal Wulff was the most impressive in training. The only downside is that he was often slow at the start in South Africa. During his ‘trial’ during the week, he did not have the best of starts but he shown his good level of fitness to catch up with the leaders. This finisher is a good candidate for victory.
His boxmate, Shah Akbar, is the ‘classiest horse’ of the lot. He didn’t do anything wrong at gallop time. He won twice over 1600m and 1800m. He then evolved alongside the best horses of his generation, taking fourth places in the World Sports Betting SA Derby (G1-2450m) and the Daily News 2000 (G1-200m). He also participated in the most prestigious South African race, the Vodacom July Handicap (G1- 2200m) during his last outing on July 3, 2021. Even if he prefers a longer course, he can win it.
The filly, Ziva La Winter, will also be one to watch. This sprinter has won three times in South Africa and she remains on a great victory over 1100m at Greyville racecourse during his last outing. She did nothing wrong in training and she can upset the odds.
Crank It Up, from the yard of Shirish Narang, had all the time necessary to acclimatize to the local conditions. He is a very consistent steed who has won four times over 1600m and placed on eleven occasions during his 16 outings. He some nice gallops and he will be the main danger for the Gujadhur stable trio.
Prospector did not run in a strong company in South Afica, but the Samraj Mahadia-trained horse was regular in his performances. This ‘miler’ will strive with some goods horses in this race.
Selection: Shah Akbar – Royal Wulff – Crank It Up
Race 1- 1400 – (0-15)
Secret Circle – Xanthus – Man From Seattle
Race 2 – 990m – (0-25)
Jack Tarr – Cartel Boss – Tyrian
Race 3 – 1400m – (0-26)
Mezuzah – Million Dollar Man – Moon Jumper
Race 4 – 1365m – B31
Citadel – Travelin Man – Lite Of My Life
Race 5 – 990m – B51
Var’s Elusion – Thomas Henry – Henry Tudor
Race 6 – 1400m – G2
Shah Akbar – Royal Wulff – Crank It Up
Race 7 – 990m – B36
Spry – Crazy Charlie – Numberninetynine
Race 8 – 1400m – B41
Grand Vision – Bestday Of Mylife – Man Of Property
Bankers : Jack Tarr – Spry
Value Bets : Citadel – Grand Vision
Outsiders: Mezuzah – Henry Tudor