Justin Snaith and Richard Fourie launched their Sun Met day feature campaign in the way they know best when the Varsfontein owned and bred Erik The Red powered to victory under sunny skies at Kenilworth to win the R150 000 Wesgro Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes in impressive style.
The opening leg of the Place Accumulator saw the exotic pool reach a nett R1 838 116 and produced no real upsets – short of the favourite Pray For Rain.
Described as a ‘quality horse’ by Richard Fourie, Erik The Red was always in the firing line as Pray For Rain and Emblem Of Hope, together with PE raider Global Drummer, showed the way.
At the 350m mark, the race looked wide open with Sherman Brown hard at work down the inside rail on his only ride of the day, the longshot Emblem Of Hope.
But Fourie was bluffing and Erik The Red (47-20) regained his composure and forged ahead to beat the impressive maiden Emblem Of Hope (30-1) by 1,25 lengths in a time of 58,8 secs.
Maiden filly Stuck On You (55-1), a stablemate to the winner, came out of the pack to grab third, 0,75 lengths ahead of Thumbs Up (18-1).
Recent runaway winner and favourite Pray For Rain (18-10) showed pace but faded out to finish just under five lengths off.
The winner is another smashing son of deceased champion Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the 2011 Gr1 Majorca Stakes victress and seven-time winner Covenant (Western Winter).
Erik The Red has won twice from three starts for a place – he has earned R145 625.
Trainer Justin Snaith said he was pleased to have won the race, given a minimal amount of effort in the prep, and expected – subject to the owner’s consent – to have the winner in his 2020 SA Champions Season team.