Going for gold

 Sep 13 2017

In a sense Gold Standard has become the ‘forgotten horse’ of our racing, with some even under the impression that the big colt had left the country with a Dubai campaign in mind.

Nothing could be further from the truth though, as I saw with my own eyes as Glen Kotzen’s charge stretched out nicely in a relaxed ‘welcome back’ grass gallop at Kenilworth last Saturday morning. The glint in regular jockey Richard Fourie’s eyes afterwards hinted at big things ahead.

Last seen when an excellent fourth in the Sun Met, this son of Trippi ended the season as comfortably the highest rated three-year-old in the country at 115.

Drakenstein Stud had bought into the horse prior to the big race, presumably seeing him as a long term successor to his sire.

Despite his rating he bizarrely wasn’t even nominated for the Equus Champion Colt award given to Edict Of Nantes (102) as he hasn’t yet won a Group 1 race. He did however comfortably account for that one at level weights both when winning the Selangor Cup and also when runner up to new Klawervlei stallion William Longsword in the Cape Guineas.

A minor setback post Met then led to the decision being made to skip the KZN season, and he will provisionally make his racecourse comeback in the Grade 3 Matchem over 1400m at Durbanville on 7 October.

After that he will follow the well-worn Cape season path of Green Point Stakes, Queens Plate and Met, and I strongly suspect that by the end of January he will have at least one Grade 1 trophy to his name. Exciting times.

- Ken Nicol

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