Sun Met anchors big Saturday in South Africa

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TwinSpires Staff

January 26th, 2018

Get your Pegasus World Cup Day started early with top-class action from South Africa’s Kenilworth.

The coveted Sun Met (G1), featuring an 18-horse field (post time 10:15 EST), anchors a blockbuster Saturday card including three other Group 1s.

The first of the day’s majors is the five-furlong Cape Flying Championship (G1) (8 a.m. EST). Mike de Kock’s Alfolk ranks as the lukewarm 5-1 favorite on the morning line, but he’s got another chance in the 10-1 Naafer. Last year’s runner-up, Trip to Heaven, bids to prevail this time around for Sean Tarry.

The Cape Derby (G1) pits the respective top three from the Cape Guineas (G1) – Tap O’ Noth, White River, and Like a Panther – on the stretch-out versus Peninsula (G2) winner Eyes Wide Open, Politician (G2) runner-up The Sun Also Rises, course-and-distance winner Spring Man, and multiple Group 1-placed filly Fresnaye.

Snowdance, the Cape Fillies Guineas (G1) winner in her latest at this track and trip, is a warm favorite to handle older fillies and mares in the Majorca (G1). Guineas also-rans Rockin Russian and Rose in Bloom hope to turn the tables, and the leading elders are 2016 Guineas heroine Just Sensual, Woolavington 2000 (G1) runner-up Gimme Six, and last year’s Majorca second through fourth, Star Express, Goodtime Gal, and Final Judgement.

Two-time South African Horse of the Year Legal Eagle, second in the past two runnings of the Met, arrives on the back of a three-peat in the Queen’s Plate (G1) at a metric mile. Up in distance to about 1 1/4 miles for the feature, the Tarry charge will face familiar faces like Captain America, Marinaresco, Copper Force, Sail South, and African Night Sky. Most intriguing of his fresh opponents are Paddock (G1) winner Oh Susanna, who gets a 19-pound weight pull as a sophomore filly, and lightly raced Last Winter, who looks to bounce back from his only loss (but drew post 20). Older distaffers Nother Russia and Nightingale (last year’s Majorca winner) can factor with their best.

The Met field originally stood at 20, but de Kock had to scratch SA Classic (G1) victor Heavenly Blue and Cascapedia after they didn't cope well with the travel from Johannesburg.

International past performances are freely available in the handicapping section, so check out all the action on Sun Met Day!