Justin Snaith ticked the Gr2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes off his career bucket list at Kenilworth on Saturday. One of the very few local features that he hadn’t yet won, Snaith came to the party with a coupling and ended up banking the first and third cheques – with Grant van Niekerk again doing the honours.
Winning form often works in waves and the Snaith-Van Niekerk combo built on their L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival hot run with a 600-1 feature double at a sunbaked Kenilworth Racecourse.
The well-related Bishop’s Bounty started his professional life with a massive reputation and has taken some time to put his best hoof forward. A talented and handsome chestnut, he finally cracked his first stakes success – and did it in some style and largely against the run of play. His previous two runs this term suggesting he was badly off form.
After winning the Sophomore Sprint a half hour earlier, the Snaith- Van Niekerk combination went off at 45-1, with the hardknocking Sergeant Hardy the more fancied of their attack.
Last year’s winner Trip To Heaven jumped on terms for a change and it was Sergeant Hardy who led the charge from Mujaafy early on, with Bishop’s Bounty at the back at the 800m.
Sergeant Hardy continued to roll at the 300m, but Bishop’s Bounty had been making ground steadily, and switched out marginally at the 300m, he kicked powerfully.
Cruising past Sergeant Hardy like he was standing still, it was left to the evergreen 8yo Tevez to chase.
At the line, Bishop’s Bounty was 2 lengths to the good and he clocked 71,38 secs – marginally slower than his year younger stablemate Sir Frenchie who carried 3kgs less to win the preceding feature.
Sergeant Hardy was a further 0,75 lengths back in third, with Mike de Kock’s Mujaafy coming again to run fourth.
Trip To Heaven was just out of the money but failed to produce a kick, while Always In Charge was done no favours, having to get reshod at the start.
Racing in the Michael Leaf silks, the Lammerskraal-bred Bishop’s Bounty is a son of Western Winter (Gone West) out of the top-class Nacarat (Pas De Quoi). He is thus a full-brother to both Brutal Force (who ran downfield here) and Klawervlei stallion, Red Ray.
Bishop’s Bounty was purchased by Kerry Jack Bloodstock for R1,4 million at the 2015 CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale.
He took his stakes earnings to R692 300 and has won 5 races with 6 places from 14 starts.
Gr2 Diadem Stakes (SAf-Gr2)
Kenilworth, South Africa, January 13, R400k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.11.38
1 – BISHOP’S BOUNTY (SAF), 59.0, ch g 4, Western Winter (USA) – Nacarat (SAF) by Pas De Quoi (SAF). Owner Mr M E Leaf; Breeder Lammerskraal Stud; trainer J Snaith; jockey G v Niekerk
2 – Tevez (SAF), 59.0, b g 8, Caesour (USA) – Minelli (SAF) by Elliodor (FR)
3 – Sergeant Hardy (SAF), 59.0, b g 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Hard Lady (SAF) by Hard Up (ARG)
Margins: 2.00, 0.75, 0.50