The lillustrious legacy left by champion sire Fort Wood was underlined again in no uncertain terms in Saturday’s R2,5 million Gr1 J&B Met when Dynasty’s champion son Futura made hacks of his opposition to score a runaway win and stamp himself as a galloper with a very bright future.
Fort Wood passed away just a week earlier and his outstanding son Dynasty produced the feature winning goods for the umpteenth time this Summer Of Champions season as Brett Crawford-trained L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate winner Futura charged home to Met glory, to register his third Gr1 victory from just 11 starts.
The win was a special moment, but nothing totally new for the trainer-jockey combination of Brett Crawford and Bernard Fayd’herbe.
Both have previous Met wins to their credit, with Fayd’herbe winning in 2008 and 2009 aboard the champion Pocket Power.
Crawford conditioned the 2003 winner Angus as a private trainer for owner Sabine Plattner and after two disappointing years, he bounced back in great style this time around , despite the pressure of once again carrying the favourite tag.
It was particularly fascinating to hear jockey Fayd’herbe comparing the very different characters and personalities of the enigmatic Pocket Power versus the laid back Futura – both champions in their own right.
The late midweek withdrawal of Legislate saw the field reduced to 14 and the pace was always in question.
There was precious little of that commodity early and with Futura idling in midfield, it was Gr1 Majorca-winning jockey Grant Van Niekerk who took Helderberg Blue to lead Punta Arenas and Louis The King.
The order remained unchanged into the long home straight as Helderberg Blue kept at his task, with Strydom angling Summer Cup winner Louis The King to the middle for his run.
Fayd’herbe was working quietly on Futura and the big Dynasty colt quickened as the ice-cool heavyweight rider found a split between Punta Arenas and Louis The King and surged into the lead at the 250m marker.
With the opposition flat-footed, Futura powered on to win by 2,25 lengths in a time of 125,38 secs.
Jockey Grant Behr rode his heart out from many lengths back on the 7yo Gold Onyx as he put his head down and dug deep to nab second from Helderberg Blue on the line.
Gavin Lerena got Tellina to cut back the deficit out wide and he stayed on for fourth – the best of the Geoff Woodruff trio.
Punta Arenas stayed on doggedly to run fifth without really threatening, just ahead of 18 to 10 favourite Louis The King, who appeared to have every chance but was one-paced late and had no acceleration as he plodded into sixth and 4,40 lengths behind Futura.
The last horse to earn was the R25 000 paid to Gr2 Peninsula Handicap winner Arion, who ran tenth.
The five Snaith runners performed below expectations and ran in the bottom six. Despite their two winners on the day, the stable appears to have a virus and is definitely not on song at the moment.
Jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe, who told Karl Neisius during the running at the 1400m marker that he felt that he was going to win easily, was over the moon.
“I saw Karl next to me and knew I was in the right place. I just said it as I was so amped! This is one of the ultimate races to win. And it is an honour to ride these good horses. Thanks to Brett Crawford and especially Futura – what a great horse to work with,” said the Vasco Da Gama Tavern-sponsored jockey.
An elated trainer Brett Crawford said:
“This horse has just done everything right. It is his third Gr1 win in eleven starts. Those horses don’t come by often in our lifetimes. Thanks to the owners and the team. A great effort.”
Futura was bred by Guy Murdoch from sensational sire Dynasty and is out of the once winning Badger’s Drift mare, Scribblin’ The Cat.
Futura was a R500 000 National Yearling Sale purchase and is owned in partnership by John Freeman, Ian Longmore and Jack Mitchell.
He is a genuine and top-class racehorse who has never been out of the money yet in his career.
A multiple Gr1 winner, Futura took his tally to 7 wins with 4 places from 11 starts and gross earnings of R3 315 075.
Gr1 J&B Met (SAf-Gr1)
Kenilworth, South Africa, January 31, R2.5 million, 2000m, turf, good, 2.05.38
1 – FUTURA (SAF), 60.0, b c 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Scribblin’ The Cat (SAF) by Badger’s Drift (SAF). Owner Messrs John T Freeman, I W Longmore & W J C Mitchell; Breeder G Murdoch; trainer BJ Crawford; jockey B Fayd’herbe
2 – Gold Onyx (NZ), 58.5, br g 7, Black Minnaloushe (USA) – Egoli Lass (NZ) by Kaapstad (NZ)
Helderberg Blue (SAF), 58.0, b g 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Our Table Mountain (USA) by Fusaichi
3 – Pegasus (USA)
Margins: 2.25, 0.10, 0.75