where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2010-01-05 20:55:53  

 Mike Bass said on Monday regarding Pocket Power’s pole position draw in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate to be run over a mile at Kenilworth on Saturday: “I would rather have draw one than draw ten. But people are saying that Pocket Power has the best draw and that is not actually the case. Ten would be happy and one happier, but draw three or four would be happiest.”

“From draw one you have to jump well and hold your position, otherwise they all come across and you end up at the back. From draw three, four or five you can place the horse where you want to. But Pocket Power should be alright from draw one. It’s also not a big field. In a 16 horse field a one draw might be a worry but in a ten horse field there’s not much to be concerned about.”

Pocket Power’s niggling foot problem is being managed well by the yard this season and he looked as good as ever when making his seasonal reappearance, beating Big City Life by 0,75 lengths at level weights over 1500m on December 5.

Bass said he had come on since then, so is likely to start at very short odds.

Bass’ River Jetez is also drawn in pole position for the Grade 1 TBA Paddock Stakes over 1800m on Saturday, a contest that sees one of the best fields of females assembled for some time in South Africa.

Bass said that River Jetez, a full-sister to Pocket Power, is very well and totally disagreed with any suggestion that she was a Grade 1 bridesmaid.

Despite being one of the top fillies of her era she is yet to win a Grade 1.

“She is good enough to win a Grade 1 but has just been unlucky,” said Bass. “Last year she was unlucky not to win the Paddock Stakes when beaten narrowly by Emblem Of Liberty. She beat Dancer’s Daughter in that race. No horse who beats Dancer’s Daughter can be called a bridesmaid!”

Bass said that he had three big runners in the Paddock Stakes, River Jetez, Love Is In The Air and Croc Valley.

“All three of them will be hard to beat by whoever the favourite will be.”

Love Is In The Air finished third in her last start in the Victress Stakes, just 1,75 lengths behind the winner River Jetez, although she will now be 1,5kg worse off with the latter.

Croc Valley only arrived at the Bass yard after the winter, but has been the subject of very positive reports on the training tracks by Bass stable jockey, Bernard Fayd’Herbe.

She didn’t have the best of luck in the Grade 1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas when having to come from a long way back down the inside rail where there was not much room.

In her next start she ran an excellent race in an open handicap over 1400m off a merit rating of 90 to finish second.

In the Paddock Stakes she will receive 6kg from River Jetez and 5,5kg from the four-year-olds, although she does have to reverse form by 2,5 lengths with her Guineas conqueror, Field Flower.

Bass said, “Love Is In The Air ran a cracking race in the Victress and has come on since then. Croc Valley has also improved a lot and has a big chance.”

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