Justin Snaith will have a strong hand in the Grade 1 eLan Gold Cup with the ruling ante-post favourite Strathdon as well as Doublemint and Made To Conquer.
Snaith quipped, “Strathdon is going for world record of days without a win (588)!”
He continued, “This was the best my horses have pulled up out of the Vodacom Durban July day for years and they are well, although I wasn’t happy with all of their runs.”
Made To Conquer was one of the horses he was unhappy with and felt his July preparation had been affected by a couple of hiccups at the July gallops.
He said, “Things didn’t go his way in his July gallop.”
Snaith said there was a delay caused by the trainers not galloping in the specified order and Made To Conquer began sweating in the parade ring while ringing around waiting.
He said, “By the time he had finished he was dripping sweat and was not the same after that in my opinion. I thought I had him right but he wasn’t. So I thought the gallops affected him but when I saw it happening there was nothing much I could do.”
He was also disappointed with Doublemint’s July run and said, “Unfortunately he got caught three wide without cover. You can run three wide in the July but you must have something in front of you. He never settled, so a little bit of a wide draw, bad luck and that was his chances all gone.”
Snaith said about Doublemint staying the Gold Cup trip of 3200m, “To be honest in South Africa staying races are not strong, so he does not need to stay, if he is a 2400m horse that’s good enough for the Gold Cup. You don’t have to be any stronger than that. What does always worry me is the Jo’burg horses carrying 52kg and being full of oxygen from the high altitude training. That is more my worry. It has been a disappointing season for Doublemint and Made To Conquer so why not give them a chance in the Gold Cup and see how they go and then decide their futures from there. Doublemint will be gelded after the Gold Cup.”
Snaith has the favourite in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m, Kasimir, and said he had been doing very well. He also has Snowdance entered in the Mercury.
He said, “Kasimir just needed his last run. They denied him a gallop at Greyville so we had to use that last race as a prep. He will have come on a lot from that. Snowdance might also take her place. We are going to decide also whether she will still race again next year.”
Snaith will not be contesting any of the two-year-old events on Gold Cup day but will have a strong hand in the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m with July fifth-placed Miyabi Gold, Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 winner Silvano’s Pride and Listed East Cape Oaks winner Madonna.
By David Thiselton