With the cancellation of the Jet Master Stakes, Snaith Racing sent their 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Sun Met ‘A Team’ for a grass gallop at Kenilworth on Saturday, 16 December 2017. The stable was satisfied with the outing and shared their feedback.
Winter Series winner African Night Sky galloped with stable companions Heartland, ridden by Robert Khathi, and Star Chestnut, with Grant van Niekerk on board. Jono Snaith reports that the group jumped from the 1350m mark and went a very hard gallop.
“Robert Khathi went to the front on Heartland and set a good, strong pace. It was quite a sharp trip for African Night Sky, particularly against those sprinters. Bernard gave him a sympathetic ride and didn’t ask too much of him, but he turned it on well to move up alongside his companions. He had a really good work out and was blowing nicely at the end. He will benefit tremendously from the outing and will come out a lot fitter for it. Bernard was pleased, which is the main thing and we are confident that we’re on track for the 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the Sun Met.”
The second gallop was for Elusive Silva, who is on the entry list for the 2018 Sun Met. Elusive Silva comes off a very promising, albeit foreshortened KZN season, which saw him win the Sledgehammer Stakes, finish in the money in the Betting World 1900 and then follow up with a courageous win over Crowd Pleaser in the Cup Trial in short order. Richard Fourie was in the saddle for the Cup Trial and was full of praise in the post race interview, saying “If there’s a horse I could ride in the Durban July, this would be the horse. He ticks all the boxes – he’s a big strong horse, he can quicken and that’s what you want in the July. When it gets a bit tough out there, you just want a horse that’s going to quicken for you.” He got his wish. Almost. Elusive Silva made it into the July field and Richard got the ride. They made it all the way to the July gallops, only for an old injury to flare up and force a last minute scratching. However, the 5yo Silvano gelding has had the benefit of a long break and is back on track.
Grant van Niekerk took the reins for Saturday’s gallop and Elusive Silva was accompanied by Robert Khathi on stablemate Qing. Jono was very pleased with their gallop as well, commenting that Elusive Silva had put up a superb piece of work and cruised past the filly nicely. He confirmed that their charge will run in the Peninsula Stakes on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate day, followed by the Sun Met. Grant van Niekerk has been confirmed for both rides.