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Rio Bids For Derby Glory

Saturday’s G1 Arf Commemorative Cape Derby (2000m) looks set to bring down the curtain on what has been an exciting and eventful Cape Summer Season.

This year’s Derby sees Cape Guineas runner up Viva Rio take on a host of improving three-year-olds, including G3 City Of Cape Town Politician Stakes winner Silver Host, CTS 1600/Politician Stakes runner up Super Silvano, and Hawwaam’s half-brother Golden Ducat.

Viva Rio, whose trainer Glen Kotzen won the Derby with both Big City Life (2009) and Eyes Wide Open (2018), is the top rated runner in this year’s Cape Derby and he comes into Saturday’s 2000m contest off a facile victory over 1600m. Runner up, to the Hong Kong bound Kilindini, in the recent G1 Cape Guineas, Viva Rio tries the 2000m trip for a first time on Saturday. He is a half-brother to smart galloper Over Sure, whose three wins all came over 1200m and is from a fast family.

G2 Concorde Cup winner King Of Gems (pictured) ran on for third, over 1500m, last time out, and the son of Kingsbarns appears to be crying out for more ground. He also has the benefit of a good draw of four and is the second top-rated runner in the 2020 Cape Derby. His trainer Brett Crawford holds a strong hand in the race, with Crawford also set to saddle the consistent Super Silvano, and the useful Parterre. Riding arrangments suggest Politician Stakes runner up Super Silvano is the stable elect.

Sachdev, a three-parts brother to former Derby winner Bravura, would be a big runner here if repeating the effort which saw him finish a close second in the Concorde Cup. Not well drawn, the Silvano gelding again caught the eye last time out when second in the CTS 1600 and is officially the third best horse, behind Viva Rio and King Of Gems, in the race. His stablemate Silver Host made a big statement when running out a 2.25 length winner of the Politician Stakes last time out, but is now worse off with all of Super Silvano, Parterre and Sir Michael and may find things tougher on Saturday.

Golden Ducat, a half-brother to both Hawwaam and Rainbow Bridge, takes a big jump in class for Saturday’s race, but the son of Philanthropist (who should relish the 2000m trip on Saturday) did finish half a length off King Of Gems, although he has a lot to do at the weights.

Dean Kannemeyer, a multiple Cape Derby winner, saddles two here –Azores and Sir Michael. The latter finished nearly five lengths back in the Politician Stakes last time out but is now 3kgs better off with Silver Host, while the classically bred Azores has won his last two in a row but faces his toughest task to date here.

Champion trainer Sean Tarry has two in the race, but both his Invisible (who does get a 2.5kgs sex allowance) and On My Mind look held on current form, while Met winners Vaughan Marshall and MJ Byleveld bid for more big race success with outside It’s Complex. A one time winner, the well bred It’s Complex appears to have a mountain to climb here.

Marshall also sends out Cane Lime ‘N Soda who looks held by the likes of Viva Rio, Super Silvano, and King Of Gems here.