As those conditions transformed to weight-for-age terms, it became a better option for three-year-olds owing to the allowances for age and sex.
In 2018, Justin Snaith took advantage of the new rules and ran three-year-old filly Oh Susanna. With just 113lb to carry, she was extremely well handicapped and held off the opposition to become the first three-year-old filly to win The Met in more than 100 years.
Trainer Brett Crawford will be looking to emulate that feat when he sends out Make It Snappy in this year’s Group 1 race over 2000m at Kenilworth on Saturday, 28 January.
This daughter of Dynasty has been a revelation. She was narrowly beaten on debut but has since reeled off four successive victories. Included in those are the G1 Cape Fillies Guineas (1600m) and the G1 Paddock Stakes (1800m), where she beat last year’s winner and Horse of the Year Captain’s Ransom.
She is a natural front runner and still has enough in store to give a second kick halfway up the straight. She is perfectly drawn in barrier two and, with the traditional “Cape Crawl” likely to prevail, Make It Snappy could get a soft lead.
The extra 200m should not be a problem and with just 113lb and long-leading jockey Keagan de Melo on her back, Make It Snappy will prove very hard to beat.
Last year, Kommetdieding and Jet Dark finished first and second, respectively, and both will be competitive again. However, they have met three times since and Jet Dark has had the edge on all three occasions.
As a result, Snaith’s charge could well have the advantage again. The son of Trippi seems to get better with age and has in-form Richard Fourie in the irons.
Kommetdieding has not won a race since last year’s Met. He tried to contest a couple of feature races in Johannesburg but did not appear to adapt to the altitude. He then travelled to Durban for the winter season when he ran well but also failed to find the winner’s enclosure.
However, he is now back home in the Western Cape, and after a well-deserved rest, the old Kommetdieding seems to be back. He ran second in a warm-up over 1200m and then placed in two runs over 1600m.
He is better over 2000m and with Gavin Lerena back in the irons it will be a surprise if he does not fight out the finish.
Another interesting runner is three-year-old colt Cousin Casey. This Glen Kotzen-trained runner was named Champion Two Year Old colt last season and has run well in his two runs as a three-year-old.
The son of Vercingetorix won the G2 Cape Punters Cup over 1600m and then contested the G1 Cape Guineas but proved no match for star three-year-old Charles Dickens.
Cousin Casey is likely to prefer this distance and could give the more established runners a run for their money.
The only concern is that he has yet to race outside his own age group.
Another runner to consider is Mike de Kock-trained Sparkling Water. She won the G1 Durban July (2200m) and had a number of these runners behind her. However, even with her 5.5lb sex allowance, Sparkling Water has a lot to do at the weights but is not without a chance.