where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2020-10-10 16:05:38  
Snaith Issues De Kock Cape Challenge

Justin Snaith has issued a challenge to Mike de Kock, saying, "It would be Pleasant to have him racing under the Mount."

De Kock's colt Mount Pleasant is currently the highest rated three-year-old in the country but Snaith would like to challenge the overall pundit opinion that he is the best by taking him on in the only Grade 1 mile for three-year-olds on the South African program, the Cape Guineas on December 21.

De Kock stated after Mount Pleasant's win last weekend in the Grade 2 Jo'burg Spring Challenge, "I have made no secret that this is one of the best bunch of three-year-olds I have had in many a year."

Mount Pleasant was coming off a 14 week break so should come on from the run and De Kock confirmed that in his post-race interview, saying, "I did as much as I could on the sand and he had one very easy bit of work on the grass."

Snaith echoed De Kock's words by saying that this could be the best three-year-old crop he himself had ever had.

He did not want to favour any particular colt but said the punting public should look out for any of them who had caught the eye previously, advising, "They have had a lack of gallops available so are all going to improve a lot."

Snaith's three-year-old fillies have already proved themselves strong.

His Captain Al filly Captain's Ransom downed the best performed three-year-old female in the Cape, Clouds Unfold, last weekend in the Grade 3 Diana Stakes over 1400m. She won by 0,3 lengths, although she was facing the latter on terms 3kg better than weight for age. On the other hand her rider, apprentice Joshwin Solomons, was unable to claim his normal 2,5kg so it was a win full of merit.
Snaith said Captain's Ransom still had a lot of maturing to do. He added she had pulled up phenomenally well.

He praised Solomons for keeping the stick away and lamented that, according to his observation, many riders had been replacing any lack of strength they had with an over-use of the whip.

Snaith is also excited about the Camelot filly Dazzling Sun and the Captain Al filly Really Royal. The latter, who is a full-sister to the Cape Guineas winner and now sire William Longsword, won on debut in June and is running in the seventh race over 1250m at Durbanville on Tuesday.

Snaith spoke fondly of his older speedster Kasimir, who rallied gamely to win the Grade 3 Matchem Stakes over 1400m last weekend. This horse appears to be one of the few who can maintain his stride length in the latter stages of a race. Snaith also spoke about his wonderful nature which made him a "dream horse" to train.

Snaith had considered running Vodacom Durban July winner Belgarion in the Summer Cup, but decided with the depressed stake money it was not worth it as it would have had an effect on his Cape Summer campaign.

Do It Again and Wild Coast were two other older horses he mentioned whom he believed would make an impact during the summer.

He lamented the Grade 2 WSB Guineas, which Wild Coast won at Hollywoodbets Greyville not being a Grade 1 which he believed it should be in order to attract all of the best down from Johannesburg.

Wild Coast is by Trippi out of the champion five times Grade 1-winning Dynasty mare Beach Beauty, so Snaith is desperate to win a Grade 1 with him as he would then be an automatic to join the stallion ranks.

Meanwhile, it is nervous times for those who do wish to travel down from Johannesburg for the Cape Summer Season as any African Horse Sickness (AHS) outbreak within a 30km radius of the training centres brings with it a 40 day travel ban from the State Veterinarian. On the bright side there is a protocol in place for competition horses under these circumstances which allows them to travel if they spend ten days under vector protected conditions, subject to the approval of the State Veterinarian. However, on the downside these horses would then have to go straight to the Kenilworth quarantine station where they would have to spend more time under vector protection. These two vector protected stints are hardly conducive to good preparation for feature races.

There has already been an AHS case this summer in Germiston reported on October 7 meaning the 40 day ban is currently in place for horses at Turffontein and Randjesfontein. 

Gold Circle 

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