SA national log leading trainer Justin Snaith paid a generous tribute to Gold Circle after his Vodacom Durban July entry and former SA Horse Of The Year Legislate had bounded home to win a Barrier Trial at Scottsville on Wednesday – in the process announcing that he was back in a winning mood.
A winner of the 2014 Vodacom Durban July on an objection, Legislate retired to Drakenstein Stud after an illustrious track career that saw the son of Dynasty winning four Gr1 races, four Equus Awards, breaking the Kenilworth course mile track record and being crowned SA Horse Of The Year.
Fertility issues at stud led to him being brought back into training with the Snaiths earlier this year and Wednesday marked his first visit to a racecourse in over two years.
“I never thought I would be saddling Legislate again,” said a thrilled Justin Snaith after his charge had led his opponents a merry dance in the 1000m dash.
The top horseman thanked the big horse’s owners for their patience.
“This has always been a special horse. I recall he broke the Kenilworth course record in the Green Point Stakes. That was over 100 years of Queen’s Plate fields later! They could have brought all the champions in history that day. He annihilated them!”
“But I really need to thank Gold Circle. They have been so accommodating and all kudos to them. It is thanks to them that we have this champion back on track today. They are doing their best to get the best horses to the course,” he quipped, in what is a rare tribute these days from a top trainer to any racing operator!
“It is a long way to go yet. Legislate is quite big still and has only had one minor gallop at Summerveld. The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is his ultimate target but we may consider the Gold Challenge. There are a few horses missing and we may hit a weaker year this time round,” he said, adding that he would ideally like to step his charge out in the SA Champions Season for the benefit of the public and KZN racing.
On a question as to whether top jockey Jeff Lloyd had been on the line from Australia with regard to a July ride, Justin was non-commital – “Let’s wait and see,” he said.
On his season prospects, he said: “Touch wood – things are going very well. We have to be patient though!”