Former SA Champion trainer Justin Snaith can’t be blamed for keeping an eye on Adam Marcus in his rear-view mirror, but broke out of his loadshedding stage 4 quiet form experienced in the build-up to the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival by saddling 7 winners, including a graded feature double, from 50 odd runners over a splendid two days at Kenilworth.
While he didn’t catch the big fish – Do It Again failed to fire in his defence of the prized Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate silverware – Snaith will feel satisfied that he provided his longstanding supporters, Alec and the Honourable Gillian Foster, with a memorable major day feature double on Saturday.
The familiar scarlet and gold was to the fore in the Peninsula Handicap for the second year running when the progressive Belgarion – a Snaith 2020 Vodacom Durban July hope if we’ve ever seen one – stormed to an impressive victory under Richard Fourie.
The Foster’s 2019 Peninsula Handicap winner Doublemint started favourite a few races later in the R200 000 Heineken Gr3 Chairman’s Cup and showed his appreciation for the 2500m when getting the better of a rousing duel with Crome Yellow (Greg Cheyne) in the latter stages.
A beaten horse everywhere but the line, Doublemint (15-10) rallied strongly and got the verdict by a neck in a time of 156,23 secs.
Crome Yellow (13-2) was full merit and honour in second, and the pair were some 2,50 lengths clear of former Cape Derby winner Atyaab (7-1) who just battled to get going.
It was a happy race for Snaith as the winner’s stable companions Strathdon (14-1) and Swift Surprise (40-1) ran fourth and fifth respectively.
Doublemint was bred by Alec Foster and is by Twice Over (Observatory) out of the one-time winner Nepeta (Tale Of The Cat).
Interestingly, Doublemint was once fancied to win the Vodacom Durban July and certainly has plenty of ability when things go his way.
He has won 6 races with 8 places from 19 starts for stakes of R1 125 250.
Now for the Sun Met in three weeks’ time!
Gr3 Chairman’s Cup (SAf-Gr3)
Kenilworth, South Africa, January 11, R200k, 2500m, turf, good, 2.36.23
1 – DOUBLEMINT (SAF), 60.0, ch g 5, Twice Over (GB) – Nepeta (NZ) by Tale Of The Cat (USA). Owner Mr A N & The Hon Mrs G R Foster; Breeder AN Foster; trainer J Snaith; jockey R Fourie
2 – Crome Yellow (SAF), 54.0, b g 5, Trippi (USA) – Senorita Sol (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
3 – Atyaab (AUS), 60.0, b g 4, Dundeel (AUS) – Sylvaner (NZ) by Danasinga (AUS)
Margins: 0.20, 2.50, 0.50