Apr 182019

South African Derby


Grade 2

Distance: 12 Furlongs

Restricted to 3 Year Olds

Purse: $375,000

Track Conditions: Firm Turf

Post Time: Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 2:30pm


It was time to get out of town for a while before the Bluegrass Derby gets here so I hopped on a Dreamliner and headed to South Africa.  A nice G2 race will take place on Saturday for 3 year olds in the South African Derby.  They will be traveling a distance of a long 12 furlongs over a Firm Turf track for this event.  There are fourteen colts and geldings in the field that will be contending to get to the wire first.  Many in this field are well decorated horses already, but all will be looking to put a new badge in the trophy case if they can find the winners circle first and get their picture taken.  I have had time to take a look at the track which appears to be in very good condition for the race.  The horses are looking comfortable as I walked the barns and spoke with many of the owners and jockeys.  The odds makers have set their morning line and post positions have been drawn.  So let’s take a preview of the horses that will be running in the G2, South African Derby



Horse/Odds                                                       Owner                                  Jockey


1.  Systemology  11/1                                     pallasator                            R Truitt


This non-allowance winner in the field drew the first gate for the race.  This should not be much of a factor for this colt sired by Invincible Spirit as his normal style in prior races dictated he likes to roam in the back of the back and charge for a late close.  The furthest he has traveled is 9.5 furlongs and that was in his last Allowance race in Texas in a $43,800 NW2L of which he finished 3rd at the wire.  This long travel and lack of experience compared to some of the other horses in the field will be a challenge to overcome.


2.  After Two Moons  5/1                              commonwealths              J Cox


The top money winner in the field grabbed the eye of the odds makers today.  He will be going off as their top choice in the field.  This gelding sired by Showcasing put a GP badge in his hat for his efforts in his last outing in Victoria-Aus when he ran on 03/03/2019 in the G2, The Golden Rose where he showed up 3rd at the wire.  J Cox was riding that day and he gets the call to take the mount up top again here in South Africa to try and bring this horse representing the Only Stayers residency to the winners circle.


3.  Bartenbach  10/1                                        theonenonlymtk             J Bradley


Sired by Deep Impact, this colt is coming off a nice NW2L Allowance race in Germany back on 03/14/2019 when he went gate to wire to pick up a win as he traveled 9.5 furlongs.  His owner puts in the call to try a new jockey for this horse in J Bradley who will be traveling in from Newmarket-England.  Making good progress in his career thus far the triple digit speed ratings have eluded this young horse.  He will be looking to step it up here in South Africa as he draws a favorable post for his running style.


4.  Exhead  10/1                                                saltburn                               T Tees


This Caravaggio colt has found disappointment in trying to move up in Class to contend with Stakes company.  His last outing was on 03/24/2019 at Victoria going 9.5 furlongs in the Zz Zzar Turf Route.  He likes it back in the pack and charge late in his best outings, but he failed to fire in this race and found himself 5th over 11 lengths back at the wire.  He jumps up in Class again today and will need to dig deep to contend for the wire against this field.


5.  Mantello  15/1                                            deeprock7                          T Grady


Bred in France and sired by Intello he has found disappointment in running against Stakes company.  His last three stakes outings have been fruitless in being a factor to contend for the wire.  His last outing was on 03/17/2019 in the G3, The Palms of which he failed to compete and found himself a very distant 13th in that race.  He gets no love today in the morning line and will be going off as one of the long shot against this field.


6.  Ironicus Bandit  13/1                              win4fun                              J Diggs


Going off as one of the longer choices in the field by the morning line odds makers is this colt sired by Ironicus.  This Allowance winner has ran in Listed Stakes company in his last two outings and failed to find the boards for his efforts.  He is stepping up to a much longer distance compared to prior outings of which his owner is hopeful he will like.  He does like closing kind of late and perhaps this horse will respond to the added distance.


7.  The Irish Mafia  8/1                                 highlandsky                       M Kiprusoff


This Irish bred representing the Blazing Saddles residency is a Stakes winning colt sired by The Gurkha.  He has hit the boards in his last three races, all of which were Listed Stakes.  He last ran in New Zealand on 03/02/2019 going 9 furlongs in the Their Dances Turf Route of which he showed up 3rd in that race.  His owner contracts with M Kiprusoff out of Denmark to take the ride with his horse here in South Africa.  This horse continues to show improvement and could be a horse to watch coming off the pace.


8.  Beach Sinn  15/1                                         graywolf17                         M Woolford


The odds makers show no excitement as they make this Treasure Beach colt the co-long shot in the field.  His last two outing were at the G3 level of which he gave disappointing performances of which the odds makers took note.  He should be able to go the distance for this race and I see that as an advantage for him.  Back on 01/01/2019 he ran 11.5 furlongs to pick up a Listed Stakes win in the Jupiters Moons Stakes in Turkey.  He could get up and surprise today coming off the pace to hit the boards.


9.  Storm Sirens  9/1                                        timetraveller                     M Mason


Sired in Germany by Adlerflug this colt representing Empire State Racing (ESR) residency will get a familiar face in M Mason who has been called in to take the mount as he flies in from Sweden.  They paired up successfully in their last outing which came on 03/09/2019 traveling 9.5 furlongs in the Czech Republic in the Euro Road To Glory stakes.  He hit a respectable speed rating that day of 101 which he will need to bring with him as he moves up in Class.  He tends to close late after the third call, coming just off the pace in his best outings.


10. Points East  13/1                                        adeeprock13                      W Wong


This colt sired by Adelaide also found himself in the pool of disappointment in his last outing in Florida in the G3, The Palms.  The best he could do that day was show up late way back in 10th at the wire.  He has shown he can go the distance as he proved back on 01/01/2019 in the G3, Queen Izzy where he showed up 3rd to earn his GP badge.  He is looking for those in this race that will fail to be able to cover the distance and attempt to earn himself a spot back on the boards in Graded company.


11. Golden Star Press  10/1                          njpw2                                   M Walker


It is hard to access if this colt sired by Golden Horn will have the stamina to go the distance with success.  He has traveled the distance before but with some difficulty and lots of fade.  However he did put together a nice last outing in Surrey England in a $34,100 NW2L Allowance where he closed to hit the wire 1st and was up by 3 ¼ lengths.  He makes his first attempt to run against Graded company as he takes a big jump in Class.


12. Spreaders  10/1                                         deepesr0                             R Beliveau


His last outing came on 03/17/2019 where he too ran in Florida in the G3, The Palms.  This Novellist colt was met with a disappointing performance in that race when he faded from second to end up 8th at the wire and was 7 ¾ lengths back.  He has a history of fading in many races when going above 8 furlongs, but at the same time seems to be a fighter.  His jockey will need to find position for him in this race to get him to contend for a spot on the boards.


13. Rodeo Romeo  13/1                                 911                                         B Wu


Although the odds makers showed little interest in this colt also sired by Adlerflug he may deserve another look.  He has several things to like, but has no Stakes experience which is a shortcoming.   His last two outing were at a distance of 12 furlongs and both times he hit the boards.  He won in his last outing at this distance on 03/01/2019 in Texas when he closed from way back to catch the wire 1st in this $43,800 NW2L Allowance run.  He does have some things to prove which would include never running at the Stakes level before and he is making a long travel from Texas.  He could be a horse to watch if he can overcome these obstacles.


14. Rockbone Castle 8/1                               deyoto4                               R Dogs


He will be representing the Midas residency today and attempt to prove a contender in this field after coming off a nice G3 win in New Zealand in the Manatee Classic.  This colt sired by Camelot will see a familiar face as his owner makes the call to Victoria Australia to get R Dogs to take the ride with his horse.  They paired up successfully in the Manatee Classis and so why not sick with the same jockey that has brought your horse success.  He likes to run at the front and thus his far outside gate brings to me concern.  I still think he is a horse to watch in this race if he can handle coming out of gate fourteen.



Good luck to all horses and all owners of this race.  Most importantly have fun!!!



Skippy’s Picks


1.  After Two Moons: I have to go with the favorite and top money winner and hope he can handle the increased distance.


2.  Rockbone Castle:  Good last outing and should contend if he can handle coming out of the far outside gate.


3.  The Irish Mafia:  Takes a big jump in Class but has shown good improvements in his last three races.



Tarton’s Long Shot


Beach Sinn:  The morning line odds makers showed him no love, but he will get the nod as my long shot pick today on some exotic tickets at the betting window.  The added distance may be to his liking.





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  3 Responses to “G2, South African Derby: 12 Furlongs on the Turf, Restricted to 3 Year Olds.”

  1. Very nice job covering this extremely contentious Grade 2. I appreciate your coverage. Best of luck to everyone in here.

  2. You have more courage than I do to make a pick in a race like this. I took a look and what a difficult handicapping puzzle this one is. It is hard to tell which one is going to flourish with the added distance.

    Keep up the good work bud!

    • itch, I find it very difficult to handicap most races, especially when overall the field is very well matched as this one is. But this has been my format in previewing races so I stick to it. Just never put a lot of stock in the horses I pick. You might loss your ash at the betting window. LOL Good luck to all horses in this race!