JACK MILNER: TUESDAY’s Kenilworth meeting brings down the curtain on the 2011-12 season and as long as the rain holds off it should be an exciting climax.
Current champion jockey Anton Marcus will have his final fling in an attempt to hold off the remarkable and unwavering challenge of Gavin Lerena. Marcus undoubtedly has the better rides but there is no guarantee that those will translate into winners.
Both have nine rides on the 10-race card and it bodes well for a fascinating end to this contest. Of course, as Dave Mollett pointed out, it could well come down to a dead heat.
The reason that there are 10 races on this card is that the Grade 3 Final Fling Stakes over 1800m, which was washed out on Saturday 21 July, has been added to the day’s proceedings. The runners are identical but there have been a couple of jockey changes. An important issue is that Marcus, who was down to ride Avilda from draw No 17 first time around, is now aboard Super Elegant for trainer Piet Steyn. The draw could well have been an issue as this filly is drawn beautifully at No 3.
While the day may have changed, there is still no reason why Cash Register should not win this tricky event. She is one of four runners from the Glen Kotzen yard, the others being Platinum Cat, Mary Hinge and Golden Dawn. She does have slight stamina doubts and only the race will tell if she will see out 1800m. The four-year-old daughter of Casey Tibbs has won her last two starts but those were over 1400m and 1600m. Her last victory was in similar company, the Listed Ladies Mile.
The one indication that she will see out 1800m comes in her ante-penultimate start which was over 2000m in yielding going. Cash Register was always up with the pace and only faded late to finish a 3.05-length third behind Feel My Love. That run came after a layoff so she will be a lot fitter now.
Cash Register is well drawn at six and will be ridden by Grant van Niekerk who was in the irons in her last two victories.
Mystery Dame finished third behind Cash Register last time but is now 2kg better off and that should see Andries Steyn’s runner finish a lot closer. However, she is almost eight years old now and this could well be her final fling. Fareed Anthony rides.
Platinum Cat has twice finished behind Cash Register and last time was weighted to turn the tables. Unfortunately for her supporters she failed dismally but was reported as “not striding behind’’. She has another 4kg pull on her stablemate this time and if fit and well must have a decent winning chance.
Justin Snaith saddles two runners in Rush For John and Alvilda and it is the former who looks to have a slight edge as she is drawn No 10. With Marcus jumping ship, the task of helping Avilda to overcome her draw will be with Felix Coetzee, who might still be in a buoyant mood after winning his eight Gold Cup last Saturday.
Best bet on the card looks to be Scaky Phane in Race 2. The two-year-old son of Kahal was narrowly beaten on debut, finishing 0.75 lengths behind Vauclair. He lost one length at the start and ran on strongly. Marcus rides him for the Dean Kannemeyer stable.