The Great Sphinx Cup – 17th September 2016 – River Nile Delta Racecourse


The Great Sphinx

Africa’s Greatest – The Day Dawns

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two and three.
So mutable a thing is none
That moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go,
Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow.”

The 2016 Great Sphinx Cup at River Nile Delta is shaping up to be one of the most competitive and open renewals in years. Runnings in the immediate history have often been dominated by heavy favourites, in some cases runners that were odds-on, but this season – at the time of writing – the odds compilers go 4/1 the field. There is quality everywhere – and the principals from some of the big stables, all take their chances. It is about peaking on the big day, and several are poised to launch their career as top class racehorses.

The key to working out the Sphinx is to accurately evaluate the heats. Lets look at the main contenders…..

Bristol Turks has Ride The Lightning in the race. The winner of three of his seven starts, he comes to the Sphinx off the back of a fine win in the 3yo Breeders Cup. He finished like a steam train in the heat on Saturday and a similar effort over the longer final distance of 1466m, will see him go close. Bounty Hunter is a progressive colt, who is certain to stay the trip, he is a rapid improver and must be respected.

Beka Cooper runs for the Speed Breed stable, and has always been close to the action, do not leave him out of any permutations. No Nukes Hanover has been kept in cotton wool, he looks in good nick, and had a very easy run in the heat.

Ching Infinity is from the Manor Park Stud stable, his heat run on Saturday was impressive, and it showed that the connections mean business, he is the likely favorite for the race. Morning Poke gave Ching Infinity plenty cheek in the heats, and I expect him to be there in the thick of things. Trouble Racing  has a serious contender in Wormwood on his hands and the gelding by Universal Blitz will give his connections a huge run.

The time for talking is over…….



Final Result
Pos Gate Horse Stable Jockey Time
1 2 Bounty Hunter Angel’s Flight Virgil Vaulet 1:25.695
2 5 Ching Infinity Manor Park Stud Kassie Zawacki 1:26.520
3 7 Wormwood trouble racing Jenifer Markve 1:26.565
4 1 Ride The Lightning Bristol Turks Bree Vascones 1:26.665
5 4 No Nukes Hanover Happy Skipper Stable Nguyet Yelton 1:26.759



1. Ride The Lightning

3yo colt from Bristol Turks, Career earnings: $1,021,533
Overall rating: Reasonable(52) – Fast finisher

Stable comments: – “Now this is a strong field. There are some very good looking horses from some quality stables and by the look of it any one of 5 or 6 can win it. This is a race that has potential to be very memorable I think. My horse will be fit and ready to go. Lightning had a good heat and just needs to navigate the finish well as the extra 116 meters could be telling at the end. I kept the horse/jockey combo that worked well in Breeders Short earlier in the season, so hopefully they will be in the mix again.”

2. Bounty Hunter

3yo colt from Angel’s Flight, Career earnings: $413,400
Overall rating: Reasonable(53) – Fast finisher

Stable comments: – ” Very happy with Bounty Hunter prep coming into the race, and we are looking forward to facing a strong competitive field.  “Let The Pigeons Loose”

3. Beka Cooper

3yo filly from Speed Breed, Career earnings: $296,055
Overall rating: Reasonable(51) – Stalker

Stable comments: – Beka Cooper is looking to impress. She might not be the favorite to win, but the finals should be interesting with all the amazing fast finishers in the race. Maybe this is the race Beka Cooper will shine in? I suspect it will all come down to the last quarter of the race.”

4. No Nukes Hanover

3yo colt from Happy Skipper Stable, Career earnings: $35,000
Overall rating: Reasonable(50) – Fast finisher

Stable comments: – “Happy Skipper stable is proud to be lining up to race with strongest stables around. Touch race, but I been training my horse and he’s a game colt. And excited and happy just to be able to race him in this wonderful cup.”

5. Ching Infinity

3yo colt from Manor Park Stud, Career earnings: $762,400
Overall rating: Reasonable(52) – Early sprinter

Stable comments: – “

6. Morning Poke

3yo colt from Sardean Lodge, Career earnings: $546,311
Overall rating: Reasonable(51) – Fast finisher

Stable comments: – “What can I say? Mirtha didn’t listen to a thing I said to him before the race. I know why and expect this weekend to be a different story but we will have to see. I would be ecstatic with a top 3 finish to be honest. Morning Poke is another consistent runner of mine. In another stable he would probably win but Ride the Lightning and Ching Infinity are the ones to beat.”

7. Wormwood

3yo gelding from trouble racing, Career earnings: $249,111
Overall rating: Reasonable(53) – Fast finisher

Stable comments: – “Haven’t had a cup contender as strong as Wormwood for a long time but with so many classy types going around this race looms as a war of attrition. Would have liked a bit more xp but other than that the horse should be in excellent shape come race day.”

8. Nila Mulder Tebow

3yo colt from puzzy team, Career earnings: $120,000
Overall rating: Acceptable(44)

Stable comments: – “

9. Cristabell

3yo colt from O’Reilly Park, Career earnings: $227,711
Overall rating: Acceptable(41) – Needs space

Stable comments: – “Although Cristabell ran a good heat I think the colt will struggle in the final against a quality field.”

10. Ninja Warrior

3yo filly from woodstock stud, Career earnings: $399,361
Overall rating: Acceptable(43) – Fast finisher

Stable comments: – “

11. Munny Aspects

3yo gelding from Spalrom, Career earnings: $411,224
Overall rating: Average(25)

Stable comments: – “

12. Patent Enchantment

3yo filly from supreme, Career earnings: $267,950
Overall rating: Satisfactory(45)

Stable comments: – “Well here we are Patent Enchantment. I bred this one myself. Well she might be outclassed but will give it a go. I am excited to go up against the best in the game but I am not just making up the numbers here. She is a little inexperienced in distance but would be happy with a top 8 finish. Jockey is experienced so this is a plus. Hardest to beat I think will be Ching Infinity.”

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