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International Campaign For Met Runner

'No excuses' - Dean Kannemeyer

They say that nobody ever remembers who ran second, but the name of the 4yo Western Winter colt Last Winter is one that would have left a lingering impression on many observers after his dashing second to Oh Susanna in Saturday’s Gr1 Sun Met.

Last Winter sneaks into the pic as Oh Susanna digs deep (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

“Naturally we are disappointed – who wouldn’t want to rather win the Met than running second? But we have no excuses,” said Dean Kannemeyer in a chat with the Sporting Post on Sunday morning.

Piere Strydom – rode a great race

Last Winter came into the Met having just his sixth start. After regular pilot Anthony Delpech baled due to contractual commitments, he had multiple SA champion Piere Strydom aboard for the first time. He drew widest of all and jumped from the 18 barrier gate. The winner received 8kgs from him.

“I thought Piere (Strydom) rode a great race from the draw. This was Last Winter’s first time in the ring with the heavyweight champions. Piere had him covered and settled, and perfectly placed to launch an attack. When we spoke afterwards, he said that Last Winter just didn’t know what to do. Every time he asked him to go, there was no response. He squeezed him and finally gave him a back-hander, and then the penny finally dropped. He showed a dazzling turn of foot from a position he really couldn’t run a place from. But by then the race was to all intents and purposes over, and the filly was home. We can’t take anything away from the winner and must congratulate the connections. At the same time we are excited by our boy and his future.”

Last Winter team – Dean Kannemeyer, Tracey Attree, Lady Christine Laidlaw and Jehan Malherbe

Dean said that he had always believed that Last Winter was a top horse and he was improving all the time. He felt that when he learnt to race and had more experience under the belt that he could take on the world.

“He has pulled up sound and once the dust has settled we will be meeting with Khaya Stables to discuss a possible international campaign – more than likely Dubai and Hong Kong. When they are good enough, South African bred horses have shown that they can hold their own out there.  I would never consider it if I didn’t feel he was good enough. But naturally it’s something that we need to discuss with Jehan Malherbe and Lady Laidlaw. Failing that, the KZN Champions Season is ahead of us and he will then be aimed at the July,” he said.

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4 comments on “International Campaign For Met Runner

  1. Bugs Bunny says:

    won’t he be getting a super-high merit rating (115?) after this run and therefore be severely disadvantaged in the July?

    When is the July going to be made a pure WFA race? Would be so much better for racing. They should up the stakes for the July consolation to 1 million and keep that as a handicap. Two very exciting races then.

  2. FJC says:

    Before the race I questioned the strength and depth of the Met field, the highest rated horses with the exception of M acquired their ratings over shorter and CA and LE are probably past their best. LW could not beat Milton and OS had a few 3yo fillies not far behind her in the PS. I suspect this was not the strongest Met we have seen.

    1. Zakes says:

      Hi FJC, I beg to differ, I think this was probably one of the best field we have had in recent years. I think Last Winter was far too back when second to Milton, and horses like Marinaresco and African Night Sky are no slouches over 2000M, and for Oh Susana to beat the albeit relieving in excess of 8 kg mus surely mean she is a top filly, I think the breeders are starting to produce quality stock recently, I personally believe we have not yet seen the best of these 3 year old crop, i think Majectic Mambo and Hashtagyolo are the best 3 year old horses in the country, both are unbeaten and the manner they have won suggest they could be very special.

      The only way to gauge our horses is if they go overseas, currently we have Singapore Sling who ran second in a prestigious Hong Kong Classic Mile, beating a G1 Queensland winner, winner of the G1 Racing Post Trophy and a horse that ran second in the German 2000 Guineas, so our form is very strong. My worry is our horses need to be aimed at the right races overseas, Dubai and Hong Kong are countries where our horses have been very successful as conditions are similar to ours, unlike the UK were Smart Call and Whisky Baronn did not shape up, Whisky Baron is in Dubai and Al Sahem who represents the Edict of Nantes form and the July form is also there. I personally can’t wait to see Al Sahem this season in Dubai, I hear Last Winter might be going to Dubai and Hong Kong, that should also be exciting. I personally believe a horse like Legal Eagle could be competitive in a race like the GR1 Hong Kong Mile that is run in December later this year.


  3. Brian says:

    You’re so right Zakes. I thought it was a top class field and you are so correct in saying well done to our breeders

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