Paul Lafferty’s Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint contender Sniper Shot put up an outstanding gallop on the beach sand at Summerveld on Sunday and his big race jockey Mark Khan returned impressed and excited about his chances.
Lafferty spoke about the plans for some of his other Champions Season feature race campaigners too.
Sniper Shot last ran in the Grade 2 IOS Drill Halls Stakes over 1400m but went into that race on the back of treatment with anti-biotics for loose bowels. He was likely not himself but was still not disgraced against some of the best in the country, finishing 4,70 lengths back in eighth.
He will carry 53kg off a 106 merit rating on Saturday.
The yard’s promising Australian-bred two-year-old Share Holder was scratched from the Grade 1 Gold Medallion due to a clipped heel.
The injury has healed well but the yard did not want to take a chance with such a good prospect.
He will now be put in to a Juvenile Plate race over 1200m before targeting the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe over 1400m on Vodacom Durban July day and the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes over 1600m on Gold Cup day.
This Zoffany colt, who won easily over 1000m at Scottsville on debut in early February, was bought by Lafferty at a Magic Millions Sale in Australia.
A Zoffany colt called Zodiac Ruler, who Lafferty also bought in Australia, won the Golden Horseshoe in just his second start for Justin Snaith three years ago.
Meanwhile, Lafferty and his assistant trainer Roy Waugh disagreed with jockey Warren Kennedy’s analysis that Dark Moon Rising had not quickened as well as usual when running fifth in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge but were rather of the opinion that dead going towards the outside had cost their charge a place.
Lafferty had hoped for a top three finish in the Premier’s Champions Challenge for Dark Moon Rising, as that is often enough to secure a berth in the Vodacom Durban July.
The five-year-old Ideal World gelding Dark Moon Rising will now be relying on the Grade 3 Cup Trial over 1800m at Greyville on June 8 to earn a July place.
Lafferty rates the three-time winner The Bayou and this 83 merit rated Mogok gelding will be aimed at the KZN Breeder’s Million Mile.
The yard have acquired Top Classman, a good looking four time-winning middle distance to staying type by Mogok.
He is going to be aimed at a KZN Chapter Challenge 2000 final and then go for the Grade 3 Track And Ball Derby at Scottsville on June 22.
By David Thiselton