Justin Snaith saddled his fifth Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas winner in the past decade when the Captain Al filly Snowdance stamped herself a leader of her generation with a facile victory in the prestigious Cape classic at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The Snaith machine always kicks into top gear on the big days, and even though Justin found himself wondering about the sparse on-course attendance, he didn’t let the matters of the wishy washy marketing efforts distract him from saddling five terrific winners on the day – with Bernard Fayd’herbe riding four of them and Workrider Kuse the other.
After her runaway Western Cape Fillies Championship victory at the end of October, Snowdance was a popular choice to register her first Gr1 score. But there were questions and some of the usual doubts that she may have benefitted from a shrewd ride last time.
But Saturday’s great performance proved that Snowdance was definitely not flattered by any deception and luck last time, as Bernard Fayd’herbe set her alight at the 400m and she streaked clear to score an emphatic win by 3,25 lengths after the grey Lanark had made much of the running.
Her unpressured winning time was 98,40 secs.
On a thrilling day at the office, Snaith also saddled the runner-up, the Australian-bred Oh Suzanna, who came from the clouds to grab second.
Joey Ramsden. who won the race with Just Sensual last year, saddled the 75-1 third placed longshot Fresnaye under visiting German rider, Martin Seidl.
Dennis Drier’s Equus champion Lady In Black, who races in the same silks as the winner, stayed on well to run an improved fourth. She looked outpaced in the straight when taking forever to get going.
Last season’s local fairer sex 2yo champion Magical Wonderland, who had run second to Snowdance last time, was a bit one-paced in fifth and 4,65 lengths off the winner.
PE raider Via Seattle, who won the Starling Stakes last month in Johannesburg, found this a bridge too far and finished ten lengths back after failing to show.
Winning rider Bernard Fayd’herbe compared Snowdance to the high-class Sun Classique, who won this race under Jeff Lloyd in 2006.
“I have sat on a few good fillies – Snowdance is right up there with the likes of Sun Classique,” he said.
Trainer Justin Snaith said that from the day Snowdance arrived at his yard, every jockey that rode her said she was a superstar.
Snowdance has won 3 races with 1 place from 4 starts and stakes of R941 000. She also banked the BSA Added Value Stakes Bonus of R154 000.
Bred by Cheveley Stud, Snowdance is yet another top-class filly sired by the late champion sire Captain Al (Al Mufti).
She is a full-sister to the Listed Laisserfaire Stakes and Lady’s Pendant winner Victorian Secret.
Snowdance is out of G3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery winner Spring Lilac (Joshua Dancer) – a half-sister to Equus Champions Bela-Bela and Rabiya.
The sky looks the limit for the Jack Mitchell and Drakenstein Stud-owned star!
Gr1 Fillies Guineas (SAf-Gr1)
Kenilworth, South Africa, December 2, R1 million, 1600m, turf, good, 1.38.04
1 – SNOWDANCE (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Captain Al (SAF) – Spring Lilac (SAF) by Joshua Dancer (USA). Owner Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert) & Mr W J C Mitchell; Breeder Cheveley Stud; trainer J Snaith; jockey B Fayd’herbe
2 – Oh Susanna (SAF), 60.0, bl/br f 3, Street Cry (USA) – Sharp Susan (USA) by Touch Gold (USA)
3 – Fresnaye (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Western Winter (USA) – Gulf Breeze (GB) by Dubai Destination (USA)
Margins: 3.25, 0.05, 1.25