Best race or not, this is definitely a trippy 10 mile high.

Are these the biggest races per mile in South Africa in decades? A lively debate has erupted over the rankings of Saturday’s Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge over 1600m at Greyville, though everyone agrees with head coach Mike de Kock that it’s “a hell of a race.”

De Kock saddled the four-year-old Safe Passage, one of last season’s elite players who threatens to rebuild his form in his third post-rest run. In a normal year, Safe Passage, which finished third in Durban on July 22 and second in the Summer Cup, may be vying for favoritism in this Tier 1 contest, but here it languishes with a distant 18-1 score – just 10 in the field.

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This is such a fierce competition. It includes two of the country’s best horses, Charles Dickens and Al Muthana, both with a merit rating of 132. Then there’s the flawless and unforgiving Journey of Fortune, who travels the earth, winning wherever he goes; and cousin Casey and Rascallion, who have hordes of connoisseur fans and have shown early winter form.

We can’t forget the old Do It Again warhorse, a two-time July champion who never lost his enthusiasm for wrestling at the age of eight. The other three in the line-up – Zapatillas, Bingwa and Royal Aussie – may be at odds, but they are all seasoned top-level gallopers.

“Best Mile”

Glen Kotzen, Cousin Casey’s trainer, in a video interview with Racing News this week confidently called the Gold Challenge round “the best mile in decades.”

Racing fans are unlikely to pass on such a statement without objection, and someone wrote to the Sporting Post to vote for the 2018 Green Point Stakes and its unforgettable shared finish with the Legal Eagle, Do It Again, Undercover Agent and Rainbow Bridge.

Whatever. Finding the biggest mile is secondary to finding the winner of this one.

Trainer Candace Bass-Robinson reports that her star Charles Dickens has adapted well to winter living in Summerveld and has shown his well-being with a landslide victory in KZN Guinea in early May. The jockey hired by Bass-Robinson, Aldo Domeyer, opted for dazzling chestnut over Trip Of Fortune, but there are plenty of pundits who calmly imagine a horse a year older to upstage their stablemate and paternal half-brother. lines.

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Al Muthana won this race beautifully last year, changed stables and cities and won the 2023 King’s Plate in the 1600m ahead of hot favorite Charles Dickens. A third-place finish in the recent Drill Hall Stakes shows he’s well-equipped to fight for this coveted prize.

The song Eight Miles High was written and recorded by the legendary American folk-rock band The Byrds in 1966 and has been called “the first psychedelic record”. This is, of course, a trippy song, just like perspective 10
miles to be covered by the nation’s top 1600m runners at Greyville.

I choose Journey of Fortune.


3 Journey of Fortune, 9 Do It Again, 5 Al Muthana, 4 Charles Dickens