SA champion trainer Justin Snaith endured a rare blank big race day yesterday.
But he has a smart record in the R1 million Cartier Gr1 Paddock Stakes and goes for his third consecutive success in the prestigious fillies and mares weight-for-age contest – and a double for the ruling SA Horse Of The Year Oh Susanna.
Snaith has a three-pronged attack in the 2019 renewal of the Paddock Stakes but it is very difficult looking beyond the high-class Oh Susanna registering the double.
The daughter of Street Cry was an easy winner last year beating Lady In Black before going on to become the first 3yo filly in over a century to win the Met. Her sole KZN SA Champions Season outing produced a Gr1 win and she was found wanting on fitness when making her 4yo debut in mid -November.
Ironically it was the 2018 Paddock Stakes runner-up Lady In Black who prove her superior fitness when beating Oh Susanna in their joint seasonal debut over the Kenilworth mile. The top-class daughter of Dynasty could be coming into her own and will be primed to repeat the feat when she jumps from a 3 draw here.
Mike de Kock’s Cascapedia makes her Cape debut and presents herself boasting a rich vein of form. She won the Joburg Spring Challenge off a six month break at her first start this season and was well fancied to go close in the Summer Cup. She moved up menacingly in the Joburg flagship but was beaten under a length into third. She comes in fit and can make an impact here.
Local hope Brave Move won six on the trot last term but has not shown her best form as a 5yo. She was coughing and made a respiratory noise when beaten 6 lengths by Fresnaye in the Victress at her last start. It is interesting that regular pilot Aldo Domeyer opts to ride Elusive Heart!
Another Snaith charge, Gold Bracelet winner Miyabi Gold gets the services of Anton Marcus and jumps from pole position. She caught the eye when running on late from midfield for second in the Victress Stakes and could be a lot better than presently rated.
Fresnaye won the Victress Stakes with a late flourish and must have a chance if repeating her run in this race last year when a 2,75 length third to Oh Susanna.
Dean Kannemeyer’s Hashtagyolo has taken some time to get over an illness but is expected to improve dramatically after two recent prep runs. This stakes winning 4yo moved up menacingly in the Victress Stakes before losing interest late to run fifth and under 4 lengths off the winner. She should not be disregarded from quartet calculations.
Glen Kotzen’s Elusive Heart has pulled a decent draw and is a very decent daughter of Elusive Fort. She has not shown too much in two starts this term but must have a chance of earning if she has some luck in running. It is interesting that Aldo Domeyer has chosen to ride her ahead of Brave Move!
The Yellowwood Handicap winner Sylvan On Fire has her first Cape start and comes off a fair third behind Nafaayes in the Ipi Tombe Challenge.
Safe Harbour ran fifth in this race last year and while winless in some time is a solid competitor with the ability to run a big race if near best. She was not disgraced when a 3,45 length fourth in the Victress Stakes at her first Cape start this season.
Miss Katalin has maintained a solidly consistent run of form through her feature programme and caught the eye when staying on for third and 1,70 lengths off Fresnaye in the Victress Stakes.
The second of the Sean Tarry runners is Second Request, who ran on steadily in the Cape Fillies Guineas when fourth and3,75 lengths off Front And Centre. Drawn wide here she should relish the extra being out of a mare who won up to 2450m.
Oh Susanna looks the right horse in a race charged with class. Cascapedia and Hastagyolo look the likely party spoilers, while it is difficult to ignore the chances of Lady In Back and Snaith back-up runner, Miyabi Gold.