Justin Snaith is soon to become a Dad, so the champers will no doubt already be on ice. He has a strong hand in the Kenilworth feature today where the top – class Captain Al filly Victoria Lavelle returns home with obvious hopes of ending the season on a high.
The R250 000 Gr3 Champagne Stakes has been won by some top class fillies over the years and the 2016 renewal is as good as anything we have seen.
The race looks to be dominated by the 3yo’s who look to have the better recent form – and enthusiasm.
With the whole country being hammered by winter rains, the track conditions could well play a key part – but even then, Snaith could go out with a bang.
Victoria Lavelle had four runs up in Durban with her best an eye -catching third place finish to subsequent Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint winner Real Princess in the Poinsettia Stakes.
She was fancied to run a good race on July day but failed to enjoy the poly when finishing 4.10 lengths back to Red Carpet Captain in strong mixed company.
She is a Kenilworth 1200m course and distance winner and on familiar territory with the talented Richard Fourie up, looks ready to win again.
Her stablemate Acaciawood is also a course and distance winner but a few lengths inferior and likely to challenge for the back end of quartets.
Andre Nel’s unbeaten Querari 3yo Quine impressed when winning her second start after 9 month break over Saturday’s course and distance after being slow away.
While on paper she has it all to do, she is obviously much better than rated and one for the notebook-if the second run syndrome doesn’t lower her colours.
Vaughan Marshall saddles the bang in form Varumba who has won her last two starts with a good turn of foot.
She gave weight to the highly vaunted Chevauchee at her last start and looks to be a filly with plenty of scope for further improvement.
Neala is another 3yo filly with above average ability and there is little between her and Varumba on form.
Andrew Fortune travels to Cape Town again after a disappointing rained out Durbanville on Tuesday.
Glen Kotzen trained the only winner at the Durbanville meeting in the week where he also ran 2nd and the yard sends out a coupling which includes the high class Double Whammy.
The daughter of Judpot carries top weight but has not been at her best of late. She has tumbled from an MR 103 down to a 90 and would only need to reproduce her best to have a say.
Stablemate Aliysa’s Prize was only beaten a length by Quine last time and now finds herself 4.5kgs better off with the Nel filly.
In the latter’s defence (as already mentioned), she was returning from a long rest and could probably be expected to make improvement with her increased fitness levels.
Brett Crawford saddles a coupling of the lightly raced Beach Goddess and the consistent Secret Society.
Beach Goddess flew late in the Listed Olympic Duel Stakes when held to a head by her talented stablemate Chevauchee – a decent sort!
Come Fly With Me has been out of sorts for a while.
Beach Goddess’ form is really clean and she is yet to put in a poor performance.
Justin would not have sent Victoria Lavelle home early without a minor mission in mind.
She could be good enough to beat Quine, with Beach Goddess and Double Whammy chasing.