South Africa: Expert Plays for Cape Town Met Day at Kenilworth

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

January 27th, 2023

The biggest raceday of the year in Cape Town is Met Day, at the end of January. Three Group 1 races are held, with the most notable being the Cape Town Met, featuring the best middle-distance horses in the land.

Of the other two, I’m going to leave the Majorca (G1) for fillies and mares alone; only six horses are set to race, and it’s difficult to see reigning Horse of the Year Captain’s Ransom not winning this for a third consecutive year. The other two, however, are more wide open and are worth a serious look.

Race 8, 9:15 a.m. ET: Cape Flying Championship (G1), 1,000 meters (about 5 furlongs), 3yo and up

Cape Flying Championship Selections

  • #16 Princess Calla
  • #2 Gimme a Prince
  • #5 Alesian Chief
  • #8 Stiptelik

Cape Flying Championship Wagers

  • $10 win/$20 show: #16 Princess Calla
  • $1 exacta: box 2, 5, 8, 16

It says a lot about the even nature of contenders for this sprint that even at weight-for-age we have 16 runners and an early favorite at 5-1. That is the mare #16 Princess Calla, who is seeking her third consecutive victory. Twice placed at Group 1 level in 2021, the daughter of Flower Alley has moved back to sprint distances this season and has been rewarded with two strong victories, most recently over #8 Stiptelik in the Sceptre (G2).

Several of South Africa’s best sprinters are here, as expected: last year’s winner #15 Bohica, Computaform (G1) hero #9 Master Archie, Golden Horse Sprint (G1) winner #5 Alesian Chief, Cape Merchants (G2) victor #2 Gimme a Prince, and the improvers #1 Isivunguvungu and #14 Resonate. But Princess Calla’s form is good enough for me to support her.

Race 9, 10:10 a.m. ET: Cape Town Met (G1), 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles), 3yo and up

Cape Town Met Selections

  • #4 Jet Dark
  • #6 Kommetdieding
  • #2 Make It Snappy
  • #14 Cousin Casey

Cape Town Met Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #4 Jet Dark
  • 50-cent trifecta: box 2, 4, 6, 14

This might finally be the year that #4 Jet Dark wins this race. He’s been one of South Africa’s best horses for the last three years, and though it looked for a while as though he was best up to a mile, he did beat most of South Africa’s best horses at this trip in the Champions Cup (G1) July 30.

Last year’s winner #6 Kommetdieding will be tough to beat again; he usually gets better with distance. And though boom three-year-old colt Charles Dickens is absent, his generation is represented by two worthy horses: #14 Cousin Casey, second to Charles Dickens in the Cape Guineas (G1), and even more formidably, the outstanding filly #2 Make It Snappy, who beat Captain’s Ransom in the Paddock (G1) at her last start. But I’m going to stick with Jet Dark.