Feature victories in four racing centres over eight days must be something of a unique record!
Whatever the record books say, Philippi trainer Brett Crawford can take a bow for a remarkable run of success that commenced with Undercover Agent’s big win in the Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes on the SA Champions Season opening night at Greyville last weekend.
Crawford enjoyed a unique Greyville-Turffontein-Kenilworth feature treble last weekend that was headed by Pacific Trader’s courageous win in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint on Champions Day.
While he is unlikely to be sighted at Flamingo Park, the top trainer capped a purple patch with a gutsy stakes icebreaker by the Fort Wood colt St Vladimir in the R350 000 Listed East Cape Derby at Fairview on Saturday. Crawford registered a double after American Landing won the race in 2018. There will be expectations that St Vladimir will go on to fulfil his promise as American Landing has never won another race – despite promises of more.
But Saturday belonged to St Vladimir.
Relaxed seven lengths off something of a muddling pace that would not have suited the dour staying 15-10 favourite Cedar Man, Corne Orffer worked his way through the field and found former Gauteg-based Egoli Mile winner Drop Kick his final obstacle at the 200m.
But St Vladimir was not going to let it slip and the smart colt hit the front and drew away effortlessly to put 1,50 lengths between himself and the gallant Drop Kick.
He won in a time of 151,88 secs with Sharon Kotzen’s hardknocking filly Just Chaos a neck away in third.
Snaith’s Swift Surprise was well beaten into fourth and would not have enjoyed the gallop.
Cedar Man (6,05 lengths) may as well have stayed at home after they turned it into a sprint for home. A pity – but hopefully he will keep the Gold Cup dream alive.
A R425 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, St Vladimir was bred by the Gary Player Stud and is a son of Fort Wood (Sadler’s Wells ) out of the thrice winning Western Winter mare, Frostbite.
St Vladimir has won 4 races with 2 places from 8 starts for stakes of R394 775.