Unbeaten three-year-old colt, Kommetdieding, was dramatically scratched a few days out from the Cape Derby in February when odds on ante-post favourite.
But he has subsequently made a full recovery from the overreach injury which prompted his withdrawal.
He is set to leave on 5 April for the KwaZulu-Natal Winter season, taking the traditional Guineas, Daily News and Durban July route, which has historically worked out well for top-class performers.
Trainer Michelle Rix, who runs her father Harold Crawford’s Racing Stables, will be spending three months in KZN getting the young upstart ready.
When questioned about riding arrangements, she proudly answered: “Sihle Cele will continue riding – we will keep a winning team going!”
Cele has partnered Kommetdieding to all four of his career victories to date, and though the bare stats mark him as a low percentage rider at just five percent wins to mounts, he has done nothing wrong in piloting such a rare talent over a variety of distances, so Rix understandably sees no reason to jock him off.
With hindsight being a perfect science, this bargain R55 000 purchase at the Klawervlei Farm Sale is rapidly turning into a seriously valuable thoroughbred.
Rix reveals the quirky bay is something of an enigma: “He generally shows little at work, yet whatever you ask of him, he gives.
“He was in our second string and I asked Sihle for his opinion about the horse.
“Even early on he stood out from the rest.
“After Sihle rode him, he immediately said that the last horse he rode like this was Edict of Nantes (a former high-class, Cape Derby winner under renowned hoop, Frankie Dettori, that Cele exercised when working for Philippi conditioner, Brett Crawford).”
Rix will despatch two stable companions to accompany Kommetdieding in Durban.
She says: “Pink Floyd is a good track horse who can do well in poly races in Durban.
‘Fort Agopian might also take to the Poly and will be aimed at a small feature such as the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup.”
Interestingly, both are forceful front runners able to pull Kommetdieding along in morning workouts, so their presence will help maintain his normal training schedule.
Kommetdieding will be stabled at Summerveld in KZN trainer Dennis Bosch’s yard.
Many form pundits rate the current three-year-old colts crop as being notably strong and Kommetdieding has already chewed up and spat out challenges from subsequent Cape Guineas winner Russian Rock and left Derby second-placed Rascallion a discouraged three lengths adrift at level weights in the Politician Stakes.
Accordingly, he carries a big reputation based on exposed form and sports an official merit rating of 117.
Despite humble origins and low-profile connections, the well-bought son of Elusive Fort out of the Captain Al mare, Adorable, is now public property as 6/1 ante-post favourite for the 2021 Durban July.
He’s surrounded in the market by such luminaries as 2020 July victor Belgarion; star filly Captain’s Ransom who was sensational during the Cape Summer; quality four-year- old Got the Greenlight; Triple Crown-bidding Malmoos; Cape Derby winner Linebacker and 2021 Met hero Rainbow Bridge.
The Durban July is one of South Africa’s most coveted horseracing prizes – when under-the radar connections target such an iconic race, the interest level amongst the general public rooting for the “underdog” is ratcheted up.
Indeed, it will be fascinating to chart Kommetdieding’s progress over the next few months as Rix and Crawford, (a vastly experienced horseman from the old school) challenge the big stable’s stars with their sparkling “diamond in the rough”.
Mark van Deventer | [email protected]