Despite the sprint handicap looking to be something of a minefield, the red hot local combination of Justin Snaith and Richard Fourie delivered the goods in the R400 000 Gr2 Cape Merchants at a sunny Kenilworth on Saturday with favourite Kasimir stamping his authority in a race won by his famous sire 18 years ago.
The son of Captain Al had run a cracking prep behind star 3yo One World over a distance a touch further than his best in early October, and a recent public gallop confirmed his wellbeing. SA Champion trainer Justin Snaith said Kasimir was his best runner of the day, and the 4yo rounded off a nice hat-trick for them when he arrived in the first of three features.
With his stablemate Sergeant Hardy showing the way ahead of the Crawford pair of Bold Respect and Search Party, Richard Fourie rode a waiting race on Kasimir as he sat four lengths off the gallop.
With the nineteen horse field producing a stampede, and some appearing to be battling to find a gap, Fourie pressed the button.
Kasimir stormed through down the middle at the 300m and under a kind ride by the unstoppable Richard Fourie, the son of Captain Al drew away to beat the late finishing New Caledonia by 1,25 lengths in a time of 71,87 secs.
Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint winner Bold Respect ran a gallant race under his 62kgs to stay on for third a further 1,50 lengths back with the winner’s stablemate Bishop’s Bounty popping up for fourth.
Last year’s runner-up Dutch Philip ran no kind of race and finished 4 lengths off.
Tobie Spies raider Van Halen never showed and ran stone last and 10,20 lengths behind the winner. The stipes report may tell us more.
Bred by Drakenstein Stud, Kasimir was a R1,2 million Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate and took his earnings to R1 706 875 at his 4th win with 5 places from 11 starts.
A son of deceased champion sire Captain Al, this was the 4yo’s first stakes success. He is out of the top-class Gr1 producing three-time winner Aquatint (Peintre Celebre).
Gr2 Cape Merchants (SAf-Gr2)
Kenilworth, South Africa, November 24, R400k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.11.87
1 – KASIMIR (SAF), 55.5, b g 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Aquatint (AUS) by Peintre Celebre (USA). Owner Messrs W P Drew & B Kantor, Mesdames A M Doyle, D Nagle & Paul Shanahan; Breeder Drakenstein Stud; trainer J Snaith; jockey R Fourie
2 – New Caledonia (SAF), 52.0, b g 6, Right Approach (GB) – Coral Garden (SAF) by Tiger Ridge (USA)
3 – Bold Respect (SAF), 62.0, b g 4, Bold Silvano (SAF) – Respectable Lady (SAF) by Kabool (GB)
Margins: 1.25, 1.50, 0.10