Equus Horse Of The Year Rainbow Bridge as well as Vodacom Durban July champion Kommetdieding and the latter race’s unluckiest horse this year Do It Again are all back in training and are heading for a clash of the titans in the Cape Town Met on January 29 next year.

Eric Sands said last week about Rainbow Bridge, “He had a layoff and came back with a bit of a belly but is in full work and doing well.”

Sands said the now seven-year-old’s Cape Summer Season program would be the usual route for the big guns i.e. the Green Point Stakes, L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Cape Town Met.

Some people falsely called his 5,15 length eighth in the Vodacom Durban July a “poor run” but in reality, taking his big weight into consideration, he was in fact the second best performed horse in the race with only Do It Again running a better race.

Sands revealed a message had been sent to him before the July by one of the country’s most respected racing analysts, Charles Faull, and he said he had been angered by it at the time due to his belief in Rainbow Bridge but in retrospect the analysis had been correct. He elaborated, “He said if Rainbow Bridge is beaten five lengths he is the winner and he was beaten just 5,15 lengths.”

Sands said there was still a long road ahead before thoughts were turned to a fourth tilt at the July and added, “I have not discussed it yet with Mr Rattray but what I do know is that he is a man who will give Rainbow Bridge an honourable retirement and is never one to draw blood from a stone.”

Rainbow Bridge is currently the joint-second best performed Met horse in history together with the 1930’s legend Moonlit, both horses having two wins and a narrow second to their respective names.

Rainbow Bridge will join the great Pocket Power as the only horse to have won the Met three times if he does it in January and he will become the greatest performed Met horse in history in the process as Pocket Power’s only other two runs in the big race yielded third and eighth placed finishes.

Rainbow Bridge has two thirds and a second respectively to his name in the Queen’s Plate and has finished fourth, third and second respectively in the Green point Stakes so by mathematical sequence is due a win in both of those races this season.

Meanwhile, his Grade 1-winning stablemate Golden Ducat is resting at Wilgerbosdrift Stud after his well documented suspensory ligament injury. Sands said he would miss the Cape Summer Season and is unlikely to participate in the SA Champions Season as he had been injured in both of his visits to KZN.

Do It Again traveled to Cape Town from Summerveld in the middle of last week.

He had a gallop at Summerveld last Monday and Snaith said, “I was very happy, he is doing well.”

Snaith said the seven-year-old might avoid the Queen’s Plate this year in favour of the Premier Trophy over 1800m as he said he felt the former race had tended to take too much out of him and the latter race was a more suitable trip.

He added, “His best chance is in the Met.”

Do It Again’s relatively below par Cape Summer performances last season had allowed him to be well weighted for the July and despite his terribly bad luck in the latter event he had still been the best performed horse. He was kept in a pocket by Kommetdieding for the first part of the straight while absolutely reefing and gaps closed on him a number of times thereafter. He finally got a clear run at 175m mark and powered through for a 1,75 length fourth.

Snaith said, “He should never have lost, I have never had an unluckier VDJ horse, I just felt sorry for him.”

Snaith said the Equus Three-year-old champion from last season, Jet Dark, would be targeted at the Queen’s Plate.

He was very pleased with Captain’s Ransom’s scintillating recent comeback and added, “She was sick in Durban and I just couldn’t get her right. I should never have run her in the Garden Province, it was a bad call on my part.”

He was undecided whether she would go for the Queen’s Plate as he has no doubt she will get the 1800m of the Cartier Paddock Stakes on the same day.

He revealed former July winner Belgarion had been injured in this year’s July so is out of the Cape Summer Season following fetlock chip surgery.

Snaith said he had a lot of good three-year-old colts to look forward to and added their filly counterparts had yet to show their hands.

He was thus looking forward to a fine season but added he sincerely hoped the “4 Racing” takeover would be completed as “we are reliant on this.”

Kommetdieding returned from his holiday at Soetendal Stud at the end of August and is doing “very well” according to trainer Michelle Rix.

He will have a gallop at the end of this month and will go the Green Point, Queen’s Plate, Met route.

Copy: David Thiselton Gold Circle Racing, Images: Chase Liebenberg Designs