NICCI GARNER: IT’S early days yet but Colin Scott’s charge Sage Throne is the “talking horse’’ among many experts in the R1 million Ladbrokes Gold Cup this Saturday.
Scott, who has had several close misses in Grade 1 races during his career, is optimistic that Sage Throne, a big four-year-old son of boom sire Dynasty, will run a cracker in the 3200m event.
He believes that Sage Throne will relish every metre of the contest in his first run beyond 2400m, saying: “This is his real test, but I believe that this is what he wants – the further the better, as we saw when he ran that cracking race in the Derby last year.’’
Sage Throne won that 2400m race at Clairwood by a neck from Il Saggiatore but was demoted to second on objection.
Scott continued: “His work has been very good, he’s fit and well and he didn’t have a hard race in the Durban July (in which he finished 6.50 lengths behind Pomodoro). Things didn’t pan out for him from the draw and he had to come from second last.
“In the Gold Cup they’ll go slower in the early stages, so he should be able to hold his position. He always gets stronger as the race goes on.
“The only little drawback I can see is that it’s Greyville with the short run-in. He finished very fast (making up over six lengths in the final 400m) when second to Blake in the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup and if he’s handier this time…’’
Sage Throne will be Scott’s first Gold Cup runner and the trainer is “very excited’’ about his prospects, even though he believes that “it’s a tough field’’ and that there are several dangers. He highlighted: “You have to respect Mike de Kock in these long-distance races, so Gorongosa and Vettel must be big runners. And Blake is a top stayer, but we’re close to him at the weights.’’