African Night Sky faces only six rivals in his bid to become the fourth horse in five seasons to complete the Winter Guineas-Winter Classic double at Kenilworth on Sunday.
African Night Sky, picture Liesl King
But Our Mate Art (second), Loadshedder (third) and Turbulent Air (fifth) take on Bernard Fayd’Herbe’s mount again in the Highlands Stud-sponsored feature as does the Cape Guineas fourth Elevated who flopped in last month’s Grade 3.
Riaan van Reenen, who won this 1 800m test with Sweet Virginia 12 years ago, said: “Nothing showed up after the Winter Guineas but I had issues with Elevated beforehand, time got hold of me and he had to go into it needing a run.
“He also got bumped at the start and then ran a flat race. But he has come on since and has been doing well at home. This will be his third run after a lay-off and he should go well.”
Ngaga, unbeaten in three starts and half-sister to Vodacom Durban July and Met winner Igugu, has her first race since straining a suspensory on New Year’s Eve in the Stormsvlei Mile.
The in-form Grant van Niekerk rides her for the first time and Andre Nel said: “She is working well and doing well.”