Justin Snaith confirmed the diversity of his powerful 2020 Vodacom Durban July arsenal with Gr2 Peninsula Handicap winner Belgarion underlining his big race credentials, with a smooth victory in the R175 000 Gr2 World Sports Betting 1900 at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.
Belgarion, who will lump 54kgs in the 2200m spectacular on 25 July, could finally give staunch SA racing supporters Alec and the Honourable Gillian Foster a long overdue maiden July winner, after a good few tries at the big one over the years.
In a race that turned into a sprint for home after Sean Tarry visitor Return Flight had led early, the scarlet and gold-bedecked Belgarion found himself in trouble round the turn. But Ridgemont-Highlands jockey Anton Marcus never panicked.
He switched the good-looking gelding off the rail towards the centre of the track, and after a minimum of straightening and coercion, Belgarion drew away to beat the courageous local Tristful (14-1) by 3 lengths in a time of 117,35 secs.
The Gr1 mare Camphoratus (44-1) came through with a good late burst to short head the winner’s stablemate Crown Towers (6-1) into fourth.
While Belgarion will shorten in the Hollywoodbets Vodacom Durban July ante-post market, the rest, bar Dharma, are also July entries but will need to up their game.
“He’s way, way under the radar. It always helps when you have a bit of machinery between your legs. Richard Fourie assured me and told me not to worry about his sand work,” quipped a smiling Anton Marcus.
Justin Snaith thanked Gold Circle for allowing Belgarion to gallop a fortnight earlier.
“He got to see Hollywoodbets Greyville. It all contributed to a good punting proposition for the public today. Gold Circle made the right call for everybody involved.”
Now a winner of six races – four on the trot – with a place from eight starts, Belgarion took his stakes earnings
Bred by Alec Foster, the winner is a 4yo son of super-sire Dynasty (Fort Wood) Belgarion out of the lightly raced German two-time winner Riva (Acatenango) – a half sister to French Gr3 winner Oxava.
Snaith confirmed Belgarion will now be put away for the big day.