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  – Written by Mark van Deventer

CAFÉ CULTURE has been on a hot streak and will try win for the fifth time from seven starts when running the  1400m at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth in theCape A Stakes. The Lucinda Woodruff gelding will be ridden by world-class jockey, Richard Fourie, currently clear on top of the SA Jockey’s Log with 210 wins at a strike rate of close to 22%.  CAFÉ CULTURE is very game and uses optimal stalk and pounce tactics, and Race 4 sets up right with speed horses, TOUT A FAIT and PORT LOUIS likely to go handy.  

[Image of Cafe Culture – 📸 Chase Libenberg]

His biggest dangers may come from late closers, WE’RE JAMMING (drops down in class after faring well in daunting G1 and G2 contests) and the unreliable WECANGOALLNIGHT who can launch a strong finish – if he settles in the initial stages. 

Race 8 over 1000m, which will close out the card at 16h55, is also a Cape A Stakes. It has attracted a quality field of 8 sprinters with all bar YELLOWPORSCHEROAD (OMR 97) sporting triple digit merit ratings.  That is not to dismiss the Vaughan Marshall trained entry as a no hoper. In fact, he comes out handicapped with a legitimate chance off a light weight; it all depends on his physical state as he has a history of bleeding yet can scuttle on his day. 

MUFASA is a strong sprinter that seems bound to go nicely. Former champ, RIO QUERARI, can hold his own at this level despite advancing years and a heavy burden of 61.5kg, while DANCE VARIETY and JERUSALEMA RAIN duked it out a month ago and are bang in-form middle weights. 


[Image of Mufasa winning – 📸 Chase Libenberg]

WINTER CLOUD is the mystery horse: She was amongst SA’s best juvenile fillies last season and would be dangerous carrying 52kg here, but her three-year-old record is not too flash due to constraining physical issues. 

Six-time winner, SLIM JANNIE, raids from the Eastern Cape and is a durable fighter adept on the poly or the lawn. MR COBBS completes the field – he loves Hollywoodbets Kenilworth’s five panels and can surprise at these weights if in the mood. All told, it is a spread leg for exotic bettors. 


Race 6 is also tricky – a Middle Stakes for fillies and mares. Talented sprinter, WINTER RAINFALL, drops back to the short cuts and is the tentative selection over speedball, CANDY TOWN, who resumes after a 105 day break and could be hard to catch if Andre Nel has her cranked up after a freshening. KYALAMI GIRL and course and distance suited PACIFIC GREEN are also right in the mix. 

WINTER RAINFALL took a shot for glory in the 1600m Gold Rush which did not pay off and she could be more at ease in a fast run 1100m dash. The What a Winter filly has won sprints before closing smoothly from off the pace and will try repeating that feat. 

Candice Bass-Robinson trained stable mate, HAMMIES HERO, has been sorely testing the patience of his connections. Rated 94 in February ‘23, he is struggling to win a year later of a mark 21 points lower. Reported last time to be taking no interest and stiff the last two starts before when blocked, he is not one to bet the ranch on, but he could take out Race 7 by default, such is the paucity of opposition. 

If he again decides to half-heartedly go through the motions, MIGHTY MAC (just one win from 14 outings), Andre Nel trained filly, ON BOARD (also a solitary score from 14 starts), MR FROSTIE (a mere two-time winner from 34 dips), and even likely lone speed factor, CASINO ACE, can take advantage.  

MIGHTY MAC did finish in front of HAMMIES HERO (albeit when he was disappointed for a run behind WAR CHARIOT), and previously ran close to reopposing MR FROSTIE who he meets on similar weight terms. And when Paul Reeves books angling mate, Richard Fourie they mean business – shown by a 23% win and 62% place strike rate this season – so MIGHTY MAC is one to keep onside. 


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