Lanzerac/CTS Ready To Run Stakes and the Selangor Cup
Mark van Deventer
Crawford Racing’s rich vein of form continued with another treble during the week – all of Union Jack, Carbon Offset and Lady of the House saluting. The yard has 13 runners carded for Saturday’s meeting at Kenilworth, including three in the Lanzerac RTR and a single entry in the Selangor Cup.
Purple Tractor, The Great One and Reine Tonnerre represent the stable in the R2.5 million sixth race. With that amount of prize money on offer, predictably a full field of 16 will line up over the 1400m journey on the old course.
A dodgy draw of 11 will make life hard for Purple Tractor. He needed his last start when beaten eight lengths at level weights by one of the favourites here, Always in Charge (merit rating 108) and seems to go best when racing handy, so will need all of Gavin Lerena’s expertise to get closer to the action.
“The Great One has done nothing wrong and has improved at each start.” says Brett Crawford – the son of Nadeem went start to finish to score at his second and third outings. On both occasions, he showed resilience to gamely resist highly-rated stable mate Craven and then the persistent challenge of Dancer in a MR 80 handicap. Such determination is an essential racing attribute, though The Great One will need further improvement when tangling with rivals sporting triple digit merit ratings.
It’s a strong contest with five runners rating close to or above 100. Unless something improves dramatically, which is not impossible as we’re dealing with lightly raced three year-old’s apt to suddenly wake up, the winner should come from Always in Charge, Zodiac Ruler, Sergeant Hardy, Bishops Bounty or Africa Rising. Crawford’s final candidate is Reine Tonnerre, a daughter of Kahal. She’s primed third up after a rest for her toughest assignment. “We’re happy to take our chances.” Brett ventured, with prize money accruing down to tenth spot.
Edict of Nantes was badly blocked in the Cape Classic, before staging a late rally when belatedly getting out of the pocket. That race was won in a runaway by high-class, Table Bay. The same foe is short priced favourite to add the Selangor Cup (Grade 2) to his resume. Mike de Kock, who has a formidable record in Cape Town feature races sends out Al Fahad – the Redoute’s Choice colt has won both starts in some style. Add other talents like A New Dawn, African Night Sky, Our Mate Art and William Longsword into the fray and it shapes up as a robust showdown.
Prior to the hazardous trip in the Classic, Edict of Nantes reeled off three on the bounce, including a defeat of older stable mate Nebula who went on to score in the Algoa Cup. Crawford reports that, “Edict of Nantes faces a tough task, but galloped well recently and ought to be competitive.”
In addition to these entries, the stable has other live runners on the under-card. Arabian Dynasty, Black Cat Back and Quick Brown Fox could be best of the balance, as Brett strives to build on excellent stable stats of nine winners already during November from 50 starters, at a strike rate of 18%.