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– Written by Mark van Deventer

The Anthonij Rupert Wines Premier Trophy (G2) is Race 5 on Saturday’s card- for- connoisseurs. Off time is 14h50 and 13 entries have accepted.

(Image of At My Command in yellow and black silks by Chase Liebenberg)

At My Command showed encouraging signs of a form return behind See It Again last time in the World Sports Betting Green Point Stakes. He ran some huge races against the pace/track bias at three years of age against top class foes, Charles Dickens and Cousin Casey, so can he contend here now that Brett Crawford has him back at full throttle. The 4/1 shot should work out a perfect stalk and pounce trip under Craig Zackey from drawn 4 – another plus factor.

Drawn next to him is Greyville 1900 victor, Pacaya – a formidable adversary priced up as early 7/2 favourite. He flashed through a spirited closing sectional despite traffic problems in the Ridgemont Peninsula Handicap won by Master Redoute which indicates that he too is rounding back to a peak.

(Image of Master Redoute by Chase Liebenberg)

For his part, Master Redoute produced an admirable career best in the Peninsula but now moves sharply up the weights and will have to take another big step forward to mix it with this field.

Defending Premier Trophy champion, Rascallion thrives in the Cape and has shown top class form throughout his career, belying the fact he is “only” a four-time winner from 22 starts. He’s held his own against the best in SA over middle distances, is tremendously game, and based on their Greyville 1900 tussle, Pacaya may struggle to beat him on these more onerous weight terms. At 16/1, Rascallion is a tempting each way play.

Very stylish, Woolavington winner, Mucho Dinero comes back in trip after obliterating rivals in that 2400m contest. The Twice Over gelding is habituated to winning- that was his third success in a row. Sure, he faces much stronger here and 1800m might be at the low end of his distance spectrum, yet it seems best to keep the 6/1 middle pin onside as a progressive, classy youngster with still untapped potential.

The consistent Sugar Mountain has been in the money at 80% of his starts and again should contend for the places. He was comprehensively out finished by Pacaya in the Peninsula Handicap however, and it’s a stretch to see him winning.

Rival, Waterberry Lane gets a favourable swing on these weight terms (4.5kg’s better off for 1.8 length beating by Sugar Mountain) and might be able to burgle a place consequently but he too falls slightly shy of what it takes to get into No 1 box.

Brave frontrunner Baratheon is vulnerable to the swoopers down the 600m long Hollywoodbets Kenilworth straight whilst talented performers, Rockpool, Without Question and Gem King need form returns to trouble the scorer.

Gentleman Joe faces a daunting task based on official merit ratings and Runaway Song seems too severely assessed to be a factor off an OMR of 114.

(Image of Mucho Dinero by Chase Liebenberg)

The contender shortlist resolves itself into four main candidates for the Premier’s: At My Command, Rascallion, Pacaya, and Mucho Dinero. Focusing on them should be sufficient for PA, Bipot, and perhaps Jackpot and P6 purposes, too.


Images by Chase Liebenberg