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AFTER  the Budapest blow-out in 2015, shrewdies may be out trying to beat Vaughan Marshall’s star Always In Charge in the fourth running of the R2.5 million Ready To Run Stakes. Seventh Plain was the Mayfair Speculators owned favourite last year, but a bad draw sealed his fate.

South Africa’s champion owners can make amends this time round as always In Charge has pulled a great draw of 4. he came out after a five month break two weeks ago, and impressed with a breathtaking turn of foot to beat Orion Quest.  This will be Always In Charge’s first run beyond 1200m, but his trainer is on record saying he will get a mile with ease.

Justin Snaith has five entries and will fancy Zodiac Ruler to give always In Charge a run for his money. The Australian bred Zoffany colt won the Gr2 Golden horseshoe last term, and was beaten narrowly by Gunner in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes.  He is well drawn and may be the biggest danger to Marshall’s star.

Sean Tarry sends a trio of runners, with emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup runner-up Africa Rising making his second ‘bank raid’ in the space of a fortnight.  He gets a wide draw at his first Cape start.  He is held by Zodiac Ruler on his 2yo form, but there might not be much between them.

Snaith’s Bishop’s Bounty was touted early on as a Guineas candidate and this well-related sort  (Red Ray and Brutal Force are his full brothers) has all the credentials. Piere Strydom rides him at his first try beyond 1200m.

His stablemate Sergeant hardy is the second highest rated runner in the race. The son of Captain al has had his issues and it will be interesting to see how he handles this test from 12 gate. Anthony Delpech will be looking for a double after his big win last year.

Gavin Lerena is down to ride Purple Tractor, one of a trio of Brett Crawford runners. The son of Gimmethegreenlight was comprehensively walloped by Always In Charge last time and has hopes of a minor stake at best.

Crawford’s stable jockey Corne Orffer rides The Great One, an Australian bred son of Nadeem who has won his last two starts and makes for an interesting runner from a good draw.

Joey Ramsden has waxed lyrical about his High Chaparral gelding Newlands, who was beaten by highly regarded stablemate Table Bay in the Langerman.  He is quite widely drawn, though.

The fillies’ attack is headed by Sean Tarry’s pair of Visuality and Safe Harbour. Both contested the Joburg  equivalent two weeks ago and were less than four lengths behind the winner.  It would be quite a feat of training were they to travel the 2000km within the time frame and bag the big prize here.

This has the makings of a serious contest of tactics and wits between two top jockeys on the Cape Guineas prospects always In Charge and Zodiac Ruler. If the ratings are right, then always In Charge is the one to be with. Of the balance, Newlands, The Great One and Africa Rising deserve most respect.

-Sporting Post.

Photo: Purple Tractor, good outsider. (Crawford Racing)