Snaith plea ‘for the good of racing’
PUBLISHED: May 1, 2014
Justin Snaith has made a request for trainers to come to the party in solving a countrywide problem whereby races don’t stand up due to a lack of acceptors and he has done it “for the good of racing.”
The problem looks likely to affect a number of Champions Season contenders that can’t get their pipe openers, although it has generally not had any impact on his yard as his visiting string consists mainly of horses with the proven performance and accompanying merit ratings to get into feature races.
In a recent example a handicap race scheduled for Wednesday, April 16 was divided due to the over subscription and the higher division then had 28 remaining nominees.
Of these only three stood their ground.
All three of them were Mike Bass-trained Champions Season contenders, Gifted For Glory, Global Express and Night Trip, who were consequently left without their intended run as the race had to be scrapped.
Snaith referred to the merit rating restrictions placed on visiting trainers that was put in place at the request of local trainers and said that in that case the latter should at least then show an intention of filling the fields, although it should be pointed out that of the 25 scratchings in the aforementioned example, eleven of them were by Cape-based trainers.
The problem is particularly relevant this season due to the number of runners at Greyville currently being restricted to 12, meaning many big race contenders may have to look elsewhere for their preparations.
The Vodacom Durban July will have a field of 16, but the build-up features are currently being restricted to 12.
One of the reasons behind the problem of races not standing up could be the abuse of free nominations, whereby yards enter a host of horses without doing their homework beforehand.
Those trainers who have done their homework then see their horse drawn in the 100s and scratch without knowing that the field would possibly cut down to twelve or less.[/expand]
Paolo earns crack at Winter Guinea
PUBLISHED: April 30, 2014
Justin Snaith has decided to run Easter Monday winner Paolo in the Tekkie Town Winter Guineas at Kenilworth on Sunday rather than travel him to Port Elizabeth for the more valuable East Cape Derby a week later.
He said yesterday: “We didn’t want to send the horse to PE if African Horse Sickness regulations mean he couldn’t come home but we will still have quite a strong hand in the East Cape Derby. I will have Glenton and probably Mantle’s Heath plus some locally-trained horses. It looks the lowest-rated East Cape Derby in years. If they move the race to the polytrack, as they did last year, it would suit my local horses.”
Snaith won both the Winter Guineas and the Fairview race last year with Readytogorightnow and True Master. The latter won the feature on the day Snaith sent out a record seven winners.
Richard Fourie rides Paolo on Sunday and MJ Byleveld has been booked for second string Vice Admiral. The Dean Kannemeyer-trained Power King (Karl Neisius) is expected to start favourite.[/expand]
Captain hard to oppose in KRA Guineas
PUBLISHED: April 30, 2014
The Gr 2 KRA Guineas to be run at the opening meeting of the Champions Season at Greyville on Saturday has only seen ten horses standing their ground, while the Gr 2 KRA Fillies Guineas and Gr 2 Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes have both attracted full fields of 12 plus three reserve runners.
There will be a lot of competition for places in the Greyville features this season due to the turf track having to be narrowed to make way for the new polytrack.
Brett Crawford’s rising star Captain America heads the KRA Guineas field and he will arrive at Greyville on the back of a good grass gallop at Summerveld.
He is drawn seven while his Investec Cape Derby conqueror, the Justin Snaith-trained Legislate, has drawn well in four.
Legislate was well beaten by Captain America when they last met over this trip in the Grand Parade Cape Guineas, but he was clearly not at his best that day.
However, Captain America, a big and strong colt by Captain Al, does look ideally suited to this trip on racecourse evidence and will be hard to beat.
The Alec Laird-trained Chekilli worked well at Summerveld this week but does have a stamina doubt, while his wide draw of nine will compound that concern.
His stablemate Bezanova finished a decent fifth in the Gr 1 SA Classic over 1 800m and won his debut well in his only previous Durban start, so will be interesting back at the coast.
The only filly in the race is the Geoff Woodruff-trained Gr 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Arcetri Pink. She is obviously ultra tough as this will be her tenth start since her seasonal reappearance on September 29 and the sixth stakes race she has contested this year.
The Vaughan Marshall-trained Chestnut’s Rocket won the Gr 2 Byerley Turk over 1 400m at Scottsville last time out, despite carrying topweight, and is rated as top drawer by his trainer.
However, a wide draw of ten puts a slight dampener on this front-runner’s chances.
The Alistair Gordon-trained Byerley Turk runner up Copybook is 4kg worse off with Chestnut’s Rocket despite being beaten 1,25 lengths, but that run was his return from a problem and he needed it, so he could be the dark horse.
Dean Kannemeyer’s Byerley Turk fifth-placed Speed Rocket will definitely appreciate the step up in trip and should make his presence felt.
Tony Rivalland’s good looking New Zealand-bred Diamond King put up one of his best bits of work this week at Summerveld and should put his disappointing Byerley Turk run behind him as he has a proven liking for Greyville and is drawn well in two.
The Mike Bass-trained Top Jet has drawn in pole position and is an interesting runner, considering he only finished a length behind the highly touted Brett Crawford-trained Futura at level weights over this trip last time out, while being by Jet Master he should be improving all the time.
Last year’s Drill Hall winner the Dennis Drier-trained Beach Beauty is in the race again this year and Sean Cormack has opted for her ahead of her top class stablemate Master Of My Fate, who will be ridden by Bernard Fayd’Herbe.
Beach Beauty ran an eye-catching pipe opener in the Poinsettia and will be the horse to beat again, although Master Of My Fate will be very interesting fresh over this trip as he has been commanding in victory from 1 200m up to 1 800m in his career to date. Beach Beauty has drawn wide, but her early speed will help her, while Master of My Fate has drawn in six.
The Dean Kannemeyer-trained Capetown Noir is a top miler with a blistering turn of foot, but he takes a while to get going in the straight and that proved his undoing when narrowly beaten on this track last year in the KRA Guineas and Daily News 2000.
His stablemate Ice Machine proved he runs well fresh when runner up in this race last year, but he has drawn very wide this year.
The Kumaran Naidoo-trained Royal Zulu Warrior caught the eye with a fantastic turn of speed when galloping on this course last Thursday and should be ideally suited to this trip, so has a good chance from pole position.
The Weiho Marwing-trained Here Comes Billy is full of class and should make his presence felt in sprints up to this trip this Champions Season.
The Charles Laird-trained Rio Carnival has been very impressive in his starts this season since returning from a life threatening injury and will show whether he can step up to this class over an ideal looking trip on Saturday, but he does have a very wide draw.
His stablemate Distinguished has made vast improvement this season and this race is his Champions Season mission, so he has to be considered a strong contender over his optimum trip with Weichong Marwing up.
Silvano’s Jet, Punta Arena, Jet Explorer and No Worries would all prefer further and are likely using the race as a springboard to bigger things, although horses of their class can never be discounted.
The KRA Fillies Guiness has attracted a vintage field consisting of In The Fast Lane, Lanner Falcon, Athina, Maybe Yes, Not Sulking, Santa Carolina, Eventual Angel, Admiral’s Eye, Goldie Coast, Alascan Maiden, Omaticaya and Sea Cat. It is going to be an exciting race and needs some time to analyse as well as finding out just how well each horse is doing.[/expand]
Vercingetorix, Sanshaawes not disgraced
PUBLISHED: April 30, 2014
Jockey Anthony Delpech felt that Vercingetorix could not have done better in the Gr 1 HK$ 14 million QE II Cup over 2 000m at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday, where he finished a 2,25 length third behind the John Moore-trained stable mates Designs On Rome and Military Attack.
Vercingetorix looked full of running when waiting to get a clear run in the straight, but after emerging through a gap he was making no inroads on the front two at the line, suggesting that Delpech was right when saying, “I’m not sure he quite gets the ten furlongs (2 000m) in this class.”
De Kock had reservations about the four-year-old Silvano colt’s stamina capacity a long time ago and cited it as one of the reasons that he pulled him out of the Vodacom Durban July last year, although the fact that he had not pulled up 100% from his Daily News 2000 win was the chief reason.
The same cannot be said about De Kock’s Ashaawes gelding Sanshaawes as he was plugging on well in the straight before being squeezed out and not persevered with. He will be interesting when stepped up in trip.
Designs On Rome, a four-year-old gelding by Holy Roman Emperor, has now won three Gr 1s this year and joined superstars such as Vengeance Of Rain and Ambitious Dragon as horses that have won both the prestigious Gr 1 Hong Kong Derby over 2 000m and the QE II Cup in the same year.
Joao Moreira cleverly drifted outward on last year’s winner Military Attack in the latter stages and this affected Designs On Rome’s momentum, but he picked up again and got up by a neck.
Moreira’s tactical riding had earlier kept the Japanese raider Epiphaneia three wide in the running, which contributed to this horse’s well beaten fourth place finish.
Vercingetorix will get another chance to prove he stays this trip at this level in the Gr 1 S$3 million Singapore Airlines Intenational Cup on May 18 at Kranji. Other South African connected horses to be entered include Sanshaawes, Heavy Metal, Mujaarib, Mushreq and Master Plan. An interesting entry in the S$1 million Gr 1 Krisflyer Sprint over 1200m on the same day is the Pat Shaw-trained Rocket Man, who hasn’t run since easily winning the Gr 1 Lion City Cup over the same course and distance on 29 April 2012 under his regular jockey Felix Coetzee.
Andy Williams, the Durban Bloodstock agent that purchased Rocket Man as a yearling in Australia, divulged that there had been nothing seriously wrong with the eight-year-old gelding by Viscount, but that Shaw had felt that the going at Kranji had been too hard.
He said the ground conditions would be monitored ahead of the Krisflyer before a decision is made to run Rocket Man or not. South African businessman Fred Crabbia owns both Rocket Man and Master Plan and the latter is also now trained by Shaw.
Meanwhile, Variety Club arrived in Hong Kong on Monday morning and will be worked by big race jockey Anton Marcus this week before participating in the Gr 1 HK$ 12 million Champions Mile at Hong Kong on Sunday.
Variety Club will face a top class field in the Champions Mile that includes the globetrotting three-time Gr 1-winning Irish horse Gordon Lord Byron, the Gr 2-winning French horse Mshawish, the Japanese dual Gr 3 winner Meiner Lacrima, as well as local horses like the Gr 1 Hong Mile one-two Glorious Days and Gold-Fun, last year’s Champions Mile winner Dan Excel, and the rising star Able Friend.
Gold-Fun has been priced up as the ante-post 3-1 favourite with Variety Club second on the boards at 7-2.[/expand]
2014 Vodacom Durban July
PUBLISHED: April 29, 2014
The first round of entries for the 2014 Vodacom Durban July were announced on April 17 at the media launch of Champions Season which took place at Greyville racecourse.
The turf track at Greyville has been narrowed to accommodate the construction of the new Polytrack along its inside and consequently a maximum of 16 runners will be allowed to face the starter for the Grade 1 R3,5 million Vodacom Durban July over 2200m on Saturday July 5.
While Gold Circle reserves the right to ultimately determine the final field, the Company will convene a panel comprising Messrs Graeme Hawkins (Gold Circle Racing Executive), Jay Harrielall (Gold Circle Racing Manager), Roger Smith (Senior Handicapper based on the Highveld) and Matthew Lipps (Senior Handicapper based in KZN) to adjudicate.
Neil Butcher, Chairman of Gold Circle’s Racing Sub-Committee, will be in attendance at all meetings of the Selection Panel. The Panel will also be responsible for issuing a series of logs, the first of which will appear on Tuesday May 6.
Gold Circle’s Racing Sub-Committee has resolved that the winners of the following races (from January 2014 to June 2014) will be precluded from elimination save that, where appropriate, the Company reserves the right to request a public gallop to determine the wellbeing/fitness in the event that any of these winners have not raced within three months of the date of final declarations:
- L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Gr 1), Kenilworth 1600m, (Winner: Cape Town Noir)
- J&B Met (Gr 1), Kenilworth 2000m, (Winner: Hill Fifty Four)
- Investec Cape Derby (Gr 1), Kenilworth 2000m, (Winner: Legislate)
- SA Classic (Gr 1), Turffontein 1800m, (Winner: Louis The King)
- SA Fillies Classic (Gr 1), Turffontein 1800m, (Winner: Athina)
- SA Derby (Gr 1), Turffontein 2450m (Winner: Louis The King)
- President’s Champions Challenge (Gr 1), Turffontein 2000m (Winner: Yorker)
- Daily News 2000 (Gr 1), Greyville 2000m
- Woolavington 2000 (Gr 1), Greyville 2000m
Rising Sun Gold Challenge (Gr 1), Clairwood 1600m Winners of the following four races (November 2013 to June 2014) will enjoy preferential consideration for inclusion in the final field while the Company also reserves the right to include a maximum of two special invitations at its discretion:
- Sansui Summer Cup (Gr 1), Turffontein 2000m (Winner: Yorker)
- Betting World 1900 (Gr 2), Greyville 1900m
- Cup Trial (Gr 3), Clairwood 1800m
- Betting World Jubilee Handicap (Gr 3), 1800mThe logs issued by the Selection Panel will reflect the horses in order of preference at the time of publication with due regard to the above.
IMPORTANT DATES TO DIARISE:
- May 13 – First Supplementary Entries
- May 13 – First Declarations
- June 2 – Second Declarations
- June 9 – Final Supplementary Entries
- June 10 – Weights Published
- June 23 – Declarations close
- June24 – Announcement of Final Field and Barrier Draw
- June 26 – Vodacom Durban July Gallops at Greyville Racecourse
For more information visit www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za[/expand]