Will Mike de Kock’s Malmoos stay the WSB SA Derby trip?
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THE big question facing the Mike de Kock-trained Malmoos ahead of his bid to join Horse Chestnut, Louis The King and Abashiri as a WSB SA Triple Crown winner is will he stay the 2450m trip of the Grade 1 WSB SA Derby?
And who among the opposition will be best suited to the stamina test?
Malmoos is by speed influence Captain Al, but is out of Fort Wood mare Justthewayyouare, who is a half-sister to the sire Master Of My Fate.
Justthewayyouare's four wins included the Listed Spook Express Handicap over 2 600m. Furthermore, Malmoos is a full-brother to Captain Splendid, who won two Grade 3s over 2 400m.
Malmoos has already joined Met winners Hill Fifty Four and One World, Paddock Stakes winner Emerald Cove and Champions Cup winner Captain America as a Captain Al Grade 1 winner over a middle distance.
He will now be attempting to join Grade 1 SA Oaks (2450m) winner Pine Princess, Grade 2 Gold Circle Oaks (2400m) winner Disco Al and Listed Java Handicap (2450m) winner Fulcrum as a Captain Al stakes winner over a staying trip.
Pine Princess, Disco Al and Fulcrum are all out of Badger Land mares and Badger Land, like Fort Wood, was very much a stamina influence. This indicates that Captain Al relied on mares to bring stamina. Nevertheless, Malmoos has a chance of getting the trip on pedigree.
Malmoos's outstanding gate speed might be to his detriment on Saturday. He hasn't pulled in any of his races but did take a keen hold when reined back in the WSB SA Classic after breaking better than anything else.
Reining him back in the slower-paced Derby could prove to be tougher and he would not want to lead as his natural cruising pace is higher than an ideal Derby pace.
The connections will be hoping to be done a favour by possible pace-setters Shah Akbar or Bingwa, although Malmoos will also need some luck slotting in from a tricky draw of 8.
The WSB SA Classic runner up Second Base is by miler-to-middle distance horse Gimmethegreenlight out of a Fort Wood mare whose only win was over 1 400m.
However, his third dam is Grade 1 Natal Oaks (2400m) winner Kiss Of Peace. Second Base is a long-strider who relaxes well and runs on, so he has a chance of staying.
Bingwa is by Pathfork, who won over 1 400m but is sire of twice Grade 3-winning stayer Marchingontogether. Bingwa's dam by Century Stand won from 1 200m to 1 600m and his best form has been over a mile, so there is a stamina doubt, although he has a nice stride and was staying on well after being swamped in the WSB Gauteng Guineas.
Flying Carpet is by stamina influence Judpot out of a Kabool mare who won twice from 1 950m to 2 000m. There is a lot of middle distance influence in the pedigree and SA Derby runner up English Garden is in his family.
Flying Carpet came from last in the SA Classic to run fourth, so if he settles better than last time while being dropped out from another wide draw he will be a contender.
Bold Jazz is by Durban July winner Bold Silvano out of a Greys Inn mare who won up to 2 000m. Summer Cup winner Ingleside is in his family. He ran on well for fifth in the SA Classic and has a chance of staying.
Shah Akbar is by Querari who won up to 2 000m and who has produced a stakes winner over 3 200m. He is out of a Galileo maiden but this front-running type has been disappointing in his last three runs.
Kingsley's Heart is by stamina influence Ideal World out of a Fahal mare who won over 1 450m. The female line is mixed but VDJ winner Heavy Metal is in the family. Kingsley's Heart does not appear to have the class to win but trainer Weiho Marwing is known for his outstanding record in staying races.
Pamushana's Pride is by SA Triple Crown hero Louis The King out of a maiden mare by stamina influence Ideal World. He is a rangy, progressive sort who runs as if he will stay.
Fsquadron is by Master Of My Fate, who was shaping as a top class middle distance horse before his career was curtailed. FSquadron has won twice over 2 000m and there is some stamina in the family of his Sail From Seattle dam but this is a big step up in class.
Validus is by stamina influence Dynasty out of a Jet Master mare who finished second in the Listed Oaks Trial and who placed three times over 2 600m. However, he was beaten three lengths by FSquadron over 2 000m last time and will only be 1,5kg better off.
Baymax is by stamina influence Elusive Fort and although his Right Approach dam only won up to 1 600m his second dam by Caesour won over 2 400m and produced the outstanding but ill-fated Mister Cricket. Baymax has a hard task with Pamushana's Pride as he is 4kg worse off despite being beaten a head over 2000m.
The Kop is by versatile stallion Visionaire out of a Rambo Dancer mare who is a half-sister to Met winner Angus. He is a half-brother to SA Oaks third-placed Coby, but he also has a hard task reversing 2 000m form with Pamushana's Pride.
Midnight Caller, who is out of an unraced Captain Al mare, is by stamina influence Twice Over. Furthermore, he is a half-brother to Tyrus Express (Marchfield) who was a recent short-head runner up in the Listed Aquanaut Handicap over 2 400m. Midnight Caller also has the Weiho Marwing factor on his side but is another one who is well held on 2 000m form by Panushana's Pride.
Blue Moon City's form does not make great reading. However, his pedigree has stamina influences as he is by Marchfield out of a Victory Moon 1600m-1800m twice winner, who is a half-sister to the dam of Listed winner over 3200m Bondiblu.