Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes
Trip To Heaven, who won last season’s Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes before going on to run star mare Carry On Alice to a neck in the Cape Flying Championship, heads the 19 horses nominated for this season’s R400 000 1200m Grade 2 sprint at Kenilworth on Saturday 13 January.
The Sean Tarry-trained six-year-old and Search Party (third last season and second in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint in July), have to give weight to the rest of the field as they are both Grade 2 winners.
This is one of the few top Cape Town races that Justin Snaith has not won but he has a strong contender in Sergeant Hardy who, despite having well-documented breathing problems, won the Listed Southeaster Sprint over 100m less than this two days before Christmas. “The Diadem is a bit tougher at the weights but Sergeant Hardy is such a game horse and, because of the programme, he is having quite a lot of races on top of each other,” says Snaith who has half an eye on the Cape Flying Championship on Sun Met day and has also nominated the smart Bishop’s Bounty.
Others who stand out include last year’s Tsogo Sun Sprint winner Talktothestars, Gold Medallion winner Always In Charge, Brutal Force (third in the Southeaster), Lanzerac Ready To Run second Bold Respect and stable companions Dutch Philip and Tevez who were second and fourth in the Grade 2 Cape Merchants at the beginning of the month.
The race has been won by a string of top horses in the past including Flaming Rock (twice), Flobayou (three times), Captain Al, Nhlavini (three times), Past Master and What A Winter (twice).
There is a supplementary entry stage next Wednesday (3 January) with declarations the following day.
Candice Bass-Robinson and Aldo Domeyer have long maintained that Dutch Philip is a sprinter and the What A Winter colt went quite some way to proving their point when he dropped back from the 1 400m of the Cape Classic to take second to Silicone Valley in the World Sports Betting Cape Merchants (a Grade 2 handicap) at the beginning of last month and it will be fascinating to see how he fares against top sprinters like Trip To Heaven and Search Party in the Grade 2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday 13 January.
Dutch Philip is comfortably the highest rated of the four three-year-olds in the race although he is 4.5kg below Trip To Heaven who was a most convincing winner of this 1 200m race last year. But Search Party and Sergeant Hardy are officially considered only 1.5kg above him. Search Party was third in last year’s race and second in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint in July while Sergeant Hardy won the Listed Southeaster Sprint just before Christmas.
The race, which has been won by some real stars in the past, will again see some hot competition with Grade 1 winners Talktothestars and Always In Charge also in the line-up.
Khaya Stables has also raced a number of stars including Capetown Noir who won both the Cape Guineas and the Cape Derby. Its present big name horse is Last Winter who is second favourite for the Sun Met.
Those on course will be eligible for a number of lucky prize draws, including a chance to win tickets for the Met. Call 021-797 6037 for hospitality inquiries.
Final field for the Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes (Grade 2) over 1200m
13 Trip To Heaven (6G) 59 118 AT Sean Tarry
8 Search Party (5G) 59 112 A Brett Crawford
1 Sergeant Hardy (4G) 58 112 A Justin Snaith
18 Always In Charge (4C) 58 108 A Vaughan Marshall
15 Brutal Force (6G) 58 108 BA Joey Ramsden
4 Tevez (8G) 58 108 A Candice Bass-Robinson
5 Talktothestars (6G) 58 106 BAT Coenie de Beer
17 Attenborough (4G) 58 104 A Joey Ramsden
12 Bishop’s Bounty (4G) 58 101 A Justin Snaith
14 Lord Balmoral (AUS) (4C) 58 94 BA Vaughan Marshall
11 Macduff (AUS) (5G) 58 94 BA Joey Ramsden
3 Rock Of Africa (4G) 58 90 BA Vaughan Marshall
6 Wonderwall (3C) 55.5 100 AT Sean Tarry
7 Dutch Philip (3C) 54.5 109 A Candice Bass-Robinson
2 Mujaafy (AUS) (3C) 54.5 92 A Mike de Kock
9 Barrack Street (3C) 54.5 91 AT Sean Tarry