Trainer Brett Crawford will saddle just a single runner in the Listed Somerset 1200 at Kenilworth this Sunday but his charge Armando looks set to challenge for top honours in the two-year-old feature, traditionally a good pointer to the G3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery later in the season.
A son of What A Winter, Armando made a huge impression when romping home by four lengths on debut at Durbanville, and, while he faces a stiffer task on Sunday, could well follow that effort up with another bold showing in the R150 000 Somerset.
Vaughan Marshall has some tremendously exciting 2yos this season (notably the impressive Captain Of Stealth), and he will saddle no fewer than three of the eight horses carded for the 2019 Somerset 1200. Riding arrangements suggest that fluent debut winner Fearless Warrior is the pick of the Marshall trio, although that colt (a first runner and winner for sire Vercingetorix) has not started since December. Stable mate Ground Control has done nothing wrong in two starts and caught the eye last time out when downing subsequent Klawervlei Farm Sales Stakes winner Rock The Globe in a juvenile plate.
Tutorial, third of the Marshall trio, beat fellow Somerset runner Mister Vargus by 1.5 lengths last time out but now meets that runner on 3kgs worse off.
Joey Ramsden, victorious in the race last year with KRA Guineas hope Twist Of Fate, is set to be represented by Minnesota Dream in Sunday’s race. A surprise winner on debut, the son of Visionaire was beaten nearly four lengths by Ground Control subsequently but does meet that runner 3kgs better off and may have been improved with gelding.
Recent maiden winners Captain Tatters and Hexatonic both look promising and are capable of improving further on their wins.