Trainer Justin Snaith reeled off an extraordinary winning streak and marketing coup when saddling the first five winners on the flagship J&B Met card at Kenilworth on Saturday. The big winning run from the top Cape yard included the R150 000 Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes with the Captain Al colt, Sergeant Hardy.
In typical big race day showboat style, the Snaiths had all of their major firepower in action and when one opened the card their 36 runners suggested that there would be some serious action. But the winning streak beat anything we have seen from them in recent times – with everything going sweetly to plan.
The yard had a trio of runners in the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes and despite the money pouring on the unraced Bishop’s Bounty, it was debut winner Sergeant Hardy who came up trumps under S’manga Khumalo.
Bishop’s Bounty, a full brother to the top class Red Ray, Brutal Force and Narnia,went off at even money and was settled in midfield, as Sergeant Hardy defied the headwind to lead the pack, from pacy PE debut runner, Pacific Spirit.
At the 300m marker, the 3-1 shot Sergeant Hardy kicked again, and with Karl Zechner riding for his life on the chasing Pacific Spirit, the winning post came up comfortably with Sergeant Hardy clocking 60,12 secs for the 1000m and winning by 0,75 lengths.
Bishop’s Bounty had a few traffic issues, and only got going late – he failed by a short head to bank the second cheque.
The filly Felicity Flyer ran into fourth, with the Snaith’s Var Ahead out of the money – after finding himself outpaced early.
The winner is raced by his breeder Veronica Foulkes, and rumoured to be a ‘roarer’ – he apparently failed the Vet at sale.
An emotional Veronica Foulkes conceded that Sergeant Hardy had his breathing problems, but expressed the hope that confining him to races up the straight would limit the impact.
Trainer Justin Snaith said that he had prepared Sergeant Hardy for the Ready To Run and had been impressed by him – and was very happy to get him back.
He was a R450 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 buy and bred by Normandy Stud. The colt is by champion sire Captain Al out of the four-time winner Hard Lady (by Hard Up), who also raced in the vieux rose and white silks.
Sergeant Hardy has won two from two and took his stakes earnings to R134 375.
Snaith’s other winners amongst the first five were Fire Master, Star Express and Qing – all ridden by Piere Strydom, while Bernard Fayd’herbe got Acaciawood home in the third race.
And the day is far from over!