‘Miss Frankel’ and mom arrive home
PUBLISHED: November 13, 2014
THE team at Avontuur Estate were ecstatic last week when SA champion sprinter Val De Ra arrived home safely with her super Frankel foal in tow, from the Quarantine Facility at Drakenstein where she spent the last month. Mom and little ‘Miss Frankel’ are now settling in happily with other mares and foals in the […]
THE team at Avontuur Estate were ecstatic last week when SA champion sprinter Val De Ra arrived home safely with her super Frankel foal in tow, from the Quarantine Facility at Drakenstein where she spent the last month. Mom and little ‘Miss Frankel’ are now settling in happily with other mares and foals in the paddocks at this Helderberg Stud Farm.
With her maternal instincts proven beyond doubt after giving birth in the UK in 2013 to a strong filly by another of the world’s top sires, Oasis Dream, and after being covered by Frankel she took on the long trip home to SA with her first foal at foot earlier this year.
“She is looking well and the filly is a real character. We had a fantastic visit by Val de Ra’s trainer during her racing days, Dennis Drier, and his wife Gill earlier this week and we all agreed that this foal has that something special,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “Val de Ra was recently covered by Oratorio and we are now waiting to see if she is with foal again, but in the meantime she’s enjoying a well-deserved routine and is getting lots of pampering by all of us.”
Val de Ra (Var x Minelli) had a blazing career in South Africa and was crowned the Equus Champion Sprinter for the 2010-11 season with her greatest moment arguably when she beat What A Winter in the 2012 Cape Flying Championship.
Released for Avontuur Estate by Cobie van Oort
Caption: Val de Ra and Miss Frankel are enjoying their time together, as they settle in at Avontuur. (Picture: Liesl King)
Captain and Futura working well
PUBLISHED: November 13, 2014
BRETT Crawford will give both Champions Cup winner Futura and Captain America (pictured) their first runs of the season in the Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday week. He said: “Futura is doing well and he will run even from his bad draw (17). Captain America has taken his gelding really well and has […]
BRETT Crawford will give both Champions Cup winner Futura and Captain America (pictured) their first runs of the season in the Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday week.
He said: “Futura is doing well and he will run even from his bad draw (17). Captain America has taken his gelding really well and has been putting in some good work.”
Captain America, second in both the Grand Parade Cape Guineas and the Investec Cape Derby, won last season’s Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes and Crawford again has a strong hand in Saturday week’s R2 million race.
His intended runners include last week’s Kenilworth winners Alexis (third on the log) and Star Of Paris. His other entries include Night In Seattle and Valerin.
The final field and draw will be announced at the sponsor’s Stellenbosch hotel on Thursday when Morgan Deane Smith will be in attendance as one of the ambassadors of the race. The singer is the wife of former South African cricket captain Graeme Smith.
However Cape Classic winner Act Of War, who headed the list when the entries were announced last week, goes for the Selangor Cup on the same day. Joey Ramsden said: “The Lanzerac entry was a mistake. He is not qualified for that Ready To Run race.”
Ramsden, who has won two of the last three runnings of the Selangor, also expects to run Kingvoldt in the mile test. He said: “I took him to Kenilworth last Saturday to work him over six furlongs and he put up a smashing gallop.”
Picture: Wayne Marks
Marcus wants to be back for Guineas
PUBLISHED: November 13, 2014
Anton Marcus had surgery to his injured left thumb on Monday and it went smoothly, but at this stage he has “absolutely no idea” how long the recovery period will be.
The ruptured tendon is the identical injury to the one he had in his right thumb last year with the only difference being that it is “not as severe.”
He said, “A pin has been inserted and there are bandages. I will only have some kind of idea how long I will be out for in about two weeks time, but I will be back riding as soon as possible because after 24 hours I am bored already. There are so many variables. I could possibly come back for one or two horses with the pin still in. I would like to be back for the Cape Guineas on December 20. But on the other hand I could be out for ten weeks, I just have no idea. Even after the pin is removed it still takes a couple of weeks for full movement in the thumb to return.”
Marcus described the incident in which his mount Admiral’s Eye jumped a patch and faltered badly at the 1200m mark of the KZN Guineas Trial on the Greyville turf as “unfortunate”, but was thankful it was not worse as “the horse could have fallen.”
He added, “It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.” He was obviously referring to the big feature races that are fast approaching in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
He was not sure exactly how the injury occurred, whether it was caused by the rein or the horse’s neck, and all he knew was that it happened sometime during the stumbling incident.
Marcus was out for a period of eleven weeks last year after the operation to his right thumb, but the recovery process might have been effected by an initial delay to the operation in order that he could ride Variety Club in the Gr 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge and also by his attempts to make it back in time for the Vodacom Durban July.
He is currently five ahead of Piere Strydom in the national jockey’s championship, but this injury will probably rule out any chance of landing a fifth title this season.
Legislate back to his best
PUBLISHED: November 13, 2014
Champion trainer Justin Snaith was thrilled with the gallop of Vodacom Durban July winner and Equus Horse Of The Year Legislate at Kenilworth yesterday with big race jockey Richard Fourie aboard.
The Dynasty colt runs in the Gr 2 Green Pont Stakes over 1600m on November 22 and Snaith said, “It was fantastic to see him moving so well. The injury he picked up on July day had been a bit of a concern and that is now all past us. He is back to his best and peaking at the right time. This will obviously be his first run of the season, but I couldn’t be happier with where he is at the moment. This horse never ceases to amaze me.”
– Snaith Racing
Charles doing everything right
PUBLISHED: November 12, 2014
Justin Snaith might run the rags-to-riches gelding Charles Lytton in the Gr 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas on December 20. Charles Lytton is by the Drakenstein Stud teaser stallion, Thomas Crown, who is a maiden half-brother to Dynasty.
He completed a hattrick when winning a competitive MR 68 Handicap over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday in impressive style under Richard Fourie and Snaith said, “We will find out how good he is if he runs in the Guineas, but he has done nothing wrong to date. All the best horses are fighting out the features and taking strain so it can be interesting to run a fresh horse. He has always shown ability and the secret is his incredible temperament, very much like the Dynasty’s, who are easy horses to train.”
The yard’s other classic male hopefuls that Snaith mentioned were Heartland and Sieze The Throne.
The Dynasty colt Heartland was impressive on debut over 1200m at Kenilworth when winning by nearly ten lengths. He wasn’t disgraced last time out in the Gr 3 Cape Classic when finishing a 3,8 length third. He did admittedly receive 6kg from the winner Act Of War, but his chances were effectively gone after he had been rushed three wide around the field on the turn. Snaith described it as “an ordinary ride” and said that “in time Heartland will be a very nice horse.”
The big colt Seize The Throne is also by Dynasty and impressed second time out over 1600m when cruising to a 2,25 length victory. He looks full of potential.
Heartland is entered in a 1400m handicap at Kenilworth next Wednesday and Seize The Throne is also entered there as well as in an 1800m handicap. The latter gave the impression that he would appreciate a step up in trip.
Other three-year-old males in the yard that are sure to make their presence felt are Harry Lime, who almost led from start to finish in his reappearance over 1200m at Kenilworth despite carrying 59kg, Arniston, Door Of Deception, Alpha Pegasi and Bianzino. The last mentioned is also a Dynasty colt and he stormed home from the tail of the field in a MR 78 handicap over 1600m last time. He was only running off a merit rating of 77 but is an entry in the Gr 2 Selangor Cup over 1600m on November 22 as well as in the 1800m handicap next Wednesday.
Door Of Deception is entered in the same 1400m race as Heartland next Wednesday and Arniston is entered in a race at Fairview next Friday.
Alpha Pegasi is being kept to sprints at present and runs on Sunday over 1200m at Kenilworth.
Meanwhile, Snaith’s Equus Horse Of The Year Legislate (pictured) is “doing well” ahead of his reappearance in the Gr 2 weight for age Green Point Stakes over 1600m on November 22 at Kenilworth.
Snaith said, “He will need the run. He could still win but it is his first run of the season and he is going straight into the mile.”
Snaith will have a strong hand in the race as he also runs Jet Explorer and Readytogorightnow.
He couldn’t separate them for this particular race, although he confirmed that stable jockey Richard Fourie would be on Legislate.
He said, “It would take a pair of plyers to get Richard off Legislate!”
He added that Fourie had fully recovered from his most recent injury and was stronger than ever.
“He is like a machine.”
A former regular ride for the stable, Felix Coetzee, is once again a valuable member of the yard’s team, as he is breaking in their young two-year-olds. Coetzee attended classes of the legendary “horse whisperer” Monty Roberts a few years ago and it had such an impact that he has furthered his knowledge at every opportunity since. He is therefore well versed in the most modern and kindest methods of breaking in horses.
The Snaiths are currently excited about a Sabine Plattner-owned Captain Al baby, who is out of the Gr 2 winner She’s On Fire, that Coetzee is breaking in.
In overseas news last season’s Equus Champion three-year-old filly In The Fast Lane is doing well in Mauritius on her way to the UK. She will arrive too late in England for Dubai to be an option so will remain in Mike de Kock’s Newmarket yard. The plan is to race her in the UK and she will appear under Snaith’s name.
Snaith concluded by speaking about the health of Western Cape racing at present and said, “The spring has been very competitive, I’ve never seen Cape Town this strong before. We are very fortunate that the Cape guys spend at the sales and that we’ve got the stock. But I take my hat off to the trainers too as they do their homework and get the owners to buy these horses.”
Pictures: Charles Lytton, Legislate (Liesl King)