Justin Snaith has been the most successful trainer so far this SA Champions Season and he answered questions about his charges for Sunday’s big Daily News 2000 and Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge meeting as well as the question of jockeys for the Vodacom Durban July.
Stable jockey Richard Fourie and record-breaking Anton Marcus are the two chief riders in the mix for Snaith’s three most prominent July contenders, Do It Again, Belgarion and Bunker Hunt.
Snaith said, “Anton is aware he would have to slim 2kg to ride Belgarion and considering the performance he put up on Saturday he is definitely thinking about it. But it all depends on how Do It Again runs in the Gold Challenge. This horse is very special to Richard and he goes for a record-breaking third July in succession which is something any jockey would want to be associated with.”
Marcus rode Do It Again to July victory in 2018 and Fourie was aboard last year. Marcus is aboard the Twice Over gelding on Sunday in the Gold Challenge.
Do It Again ran well below par in three runs in the Cape Summer Season but this was put down to continuously not eating up. He was found to have ulcers which have now been treated and he is eating well again.
Snaith said Do It Again’s recent grass gallop at Hollywoodbets Greyville with Belgarion gave him cause to hope the big horse was back to his best and said, “He was giving Belgarion 6kg in that gallop.” Do It Again led the pair but was still on the bit when they crossed the line, whereas Belgarion was being hard ridden.
Belgarion will carry 53kg in the July which means Fourie would have to slim 1kg from his official minimum riding weight of 54kg while Marcus would have to slim 2kg.
Bunker Hunt, as things stand is set to carry 54,5kg in the July but unlike Belgarion, who is 1kg under sufferance, he is in the handicap so his weight could change if Do It Again comes down from his 135 rating or if any horse rises above 135.
The horse Snaith is most scared of in the July is Rainbow Bridge.
He said, “Rainbow Bridge is a very good horse. Last season Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge were hands down the best weight for age horses over 2000m in the country.”
Snaith said all horses in his Summerveld yard were very well and this includes his team for Sunday.
He said, “Before arriving here at Summerveld I would have liked Sachdev for the Daily News 2000 ahead of Wild Coast, but Wild Coast is really enjoying Durban and they are now very close. Sachdev needed his WSB Guineas run more so will come on more from it. If you can’t beat a Silvano over a mile you are not going to beat him over 2000m and Sachdev was only beaten 0,95 lengths in the Guineas (which was won by Wild Coast).”
Wild Coast will also enjoy the 2000m trip being by Trippi out of the versatile Beach Beauty, who was effective from 1200m up to 2000m.
Snaith has entered Sovereign Secret and Rattle Mouse in the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000.
He said, “Sovereign Secret was given no chance in the WSB Fillies Guineas as she was second last in the running behind a slow pace.” Her previous best effort had been a third place finish in the CTS 1600, She is by Dynasty out of the three time Grade 1 winner from 1200m to 1600m, All Is Secret. She has a full brother who won over 1900m, so has a chance of staying the trip despite the speed from the dam, who’s two Grade 1 1200m wins were in the Allan Robertson and Mercury Sprint.
Rattle Mouse, who finished 1,75 lengths behind Sovereign Secret in the WSB Fillies Guineas, is by Ideal World and has already proven her liking for 2000m, finishing a head second in a MR 84 handicap for fillies and mares at Kenilworth in her first run out of the maidens. However, she is only merit rated 84, so it remains to be seen whether she will get into Sunday’s field.
Snaith’s crack sprinter Kasimir will be going for the Grade 1 Golden Horse Sprint over 1200m at Hollywoodbets on July 4 and then the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Gold Cup day August 29. Kasimir’s runner up finish in the IOS Drill Hall Stakes was the joint best performance of the SA Champions Season so far alongside Belgarion’s WSB 1900 win on Saturday according to handicapping guru Jay August.
By David Thiselton