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– Written by Mark van Deventer

Plaza Accord will try get Summerveld trainer, Peter Muscutt’s Cape Summer campaign off to a winning start in the opener on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Durbanville – a sprint over 1250m.


The fact that Richard Fourie is engaged to ride is a sign of positive intent – the duo has a tremendous 35% win and 56% place strike rate. Plaza Accord was just thwarted on debut in June, after being heavily supported into even money. Three winners have since come out of that Rainbow Reward, Hollywoodbets Greyville formline in what was a notably fast run dash for the Maiden level.


Gravity and King of Spin are probably the main dangers, but the experienced and very astute Muscutt looks to have found a suitable spot for his Danon Platina ex Double Whammy gelding who is temptingly priced up around 17/10 ante-post.


Fourie has a similarly robust strike rate for the Crawford/ Rix stable – 31% win and 50% places. That stat suggests Qhwakezi is well meant in Race 3 having already twice run credibly at the course in extended sprints. The slightly longer 1400m trip should suit ideally and, after getting close to School Policy a month ago, Qhawekazi is teed up to shed her Maiden tag.


Ellorix ran nicely in a key Maiden at her penultimate making her the main threat. Fastnest Filly, Ticking Bomb (comes in off a quick turnaround after a better try midweek) Essential and A Thousand Kisses have shown enough to also merit consideration as back-up’s in R3, which is Leg 1 of the P6.


Candice Bass Robinson has endured an aggravating spell out at the country course. Whilst Bass Racing remain highly competitive with 4 wins and 6 seconds in the last 30 saddled, a lot of things have somehow gone frustratingly wrong at recent meetings. Maybe Sugar Mountain (Race 5) and Gold Poker Game (R6) can revive stable fortunes.


Sugar Mountain, who knows how to win with 7 victories from 18 starts, comes in off a career peak after winning a key Class 2 in some style 42 days ago. The Silvano gelding now stretches out over 1800m for the first time and races of a new high merit rating of 103 so there are a few chinks in his armour.



Ponte Pietra is his main menace.  He wasn’t anywhere near his best on his seasonal opener, but the progressive four-year-old son of Vercingetorix is fitter and in a healthier space this time around. Previously he’d shown himself to be a smart middle-distance campaigner with considerable upside potential when reeling off a hat-trick in KZN during Winter. Dean Kannemeyer trains – Craig Zackey rides.


If a resurgent Rockpool runs to form (OMR 109) he would be dangerous too, whilst pacemaker Baratheon, and handy type It’srainingingwilliam fit the fast-running, track profile and can be used on wider tickets.


The suggested Value Play for the day is Gold Poker Game at around 10/1 in Race 6. This is a deep field of 12 with a wide spread of form but the top weight has enough in her favour to warrant a speculative interest.


She is talented on her day, has done well second up after a rest, is suited by the course and distance, and should come on tons for her comeback run when continually blocked down the inside.


Love is a Rose rates close on past clashes with the Bass entry and is quoted joint 4/1 ante-post fave with up- and- coming, My Flower Fate. They should be added to exotic perms though Gold Poker Game at double their odds appeals as an each way value touch.


Rosh Kedesh also looks interesting in the following contest, a Class 3 over 1600m. Dean Kannemeyer’s 5/1 middle pin flashed home last time in a prep sprint; is 2/2 second up after a pause and figures to get a perfect stalking trip from draw 2 at his first try over a mile (which should suit based on breeding.) He may prove the solution in Race 7 yet faces a posse of challengers.


Carriacou and Future Turn have steady form so must be factored in, together with Pomodoro’s Jet, Night Ruler and perhaps even the 16/1 long shot, Prometerre who might shine up dramatically under Ashton Arries for Vaughan Marshall, in what is an intriguing heat.




Join us for the Cape Punters Cup on Sunday 26 November 2023

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