Do It Again is the current top favourite following a sensational success in the G1 Queen's Plate (1600m) on 5 January 2019 and the fact that he will, undoubtedly, be better suited to the additional 400m this time.
Do It Again’s trainer Justin Snaith won this race last year for the first time when Oh Susanna took the honours. Richard Fourie will be aboard Do It Again, while Bernard Fayd’Herbe will partner Oh Susanna this year.
Anton Marcus was in the saddle when Do It Again won the Durban July (G1 2200m) last year. After that victory Do It Again was given a break and since his return in the G2 Green Point Stakes (1600m) last month, Fourie has been at the helm.
Do It Again finished third in his comeback race, beaten just 0.1 lengths by Legal Eagle, but the Justin Snaith-trained runner demonstrated his well-being with an eye-catching performance in the Queen’s Plate where he beat the best horses in the country.
After that win he was given a merit rating of 125 by the handicappers, making him the highest rated horse in the country.
“He’s a very special horse. He is forever improving, and you probably will only see the best of him when he is five years old,” said Fourie.
“I’m not concerned about the pace because with Do It Again, it does not matter. He’s quite versatile and he’s easy to ride. There are only 13 runners in the field so it will probably be a very tactical race.”
“He’s doing well at home and he’s a delight of a horse to ride. Everything has gone according to plan.”
Eric Sands-trained Rainbow Bridge and Do It Again’s stablemate Oh Susanna are rated the biggest dangers.
Rainbow Bridge was on an impressive five-run winning streak prior to taking a giant leap up in class in the G2 Green Point Stakes (1600m), and proved on that occasion that he was an above average thoroughbred as he was beaten a rapidly diminishing 0.15 lengths into fourth by Legal Eagle.
His follow-up was a commendable 3.05-length third behind Do It Again in the Queen’s Plate over 1600m. He appeared to have every chance before failing to make up ground to catch the rampant Do It Again and the exciting three-year-old, Soqrat.
“He has come out of that race fine and is doing very well at home,” assured Eric Sands. “He was not disgraced in that race, not at all. He had two G1 winners in front of him and four behind him – that’s a very good performance.”
Ridden by Grant van Niekerk last year, Oh Susanna became the first three-year-old filly to win the Met since Maid Of Honour in 1888. She is bidding to defend her title with Bernard Fayd'Herbe aboard.
Oh Susanna won the G1 Paddock Stakes (1800m) earlier this month with ease, showing that she still has much in her tank.
“Oh Susanna is tough, the most aggressive filly to train and very much like Dancer’s Daughter in that respect. She wore ear muffs for the first time on Saturday to calm her down,” said Snaith.