Justin Snaith opened his SA Champions Season campaign on a high note when his Dynasty gelding Bunker Hunt produced a sustained finish to record his first stakes success when winning Sunday’s R175 000 Independent On Saturday Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes going away.
It’s not a race that the Snaith Racing machine has featured in over the years, but they turned all that around in 84,73 seconds at a deserted Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.
Bunker Hunt stormed home to beat his champion sprinter stablemate Kasimir in a stable 1-2, described by the former SA champion trainer as a ‘freak effort’ by the lesser-fancied of his coupling.
“Kasimir will come on with the run – it was a great effort in a strong field to go head to head with Vardy. We thought he would get there easier but Anton Marcus obviously felt comfortable where he was, ” said a pleased Snaith, who added that there are likely to be ‘changes’ in the Vodacom Durban July betting after Bunker Hunt showed his exciting ability.
A runner-up to champion Hawwaam in the Gr2 Peninsula Handicap late last year, Bunker Hunt, ridden for the first time by Keagan de Melo, was allowed to start at 35-4 as the favourite Kasimir predictably led Vardy in the eight-horse field.
In the final 300m, De Melo produced Bunker Hunt from a few lengths off and he strode clear under the hands to beat Kasimir by 1,60 lengths.
Vardy was 0,30 lengths back in third and will come on lengths over slightly further with the run under the belt.
The Varsfontein bred Bunker Hunt, a R700 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, has won 4 races with 4 places from 12 starts and stakes of R567 500.
He is by the late champion Dynasty (Fort Wood) out of Captain Al’s Listed Syringa Handicap winning daughter Secret Obsession – who produced the smart Silver Thursday (Silvano), runner-up in the Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas and third in the Gr3 Starling Stakes.
Bunker Hunt’s name will be in the mix when the Snaiths unveil their 2020 Vodacom Durban July hand on Monday morning when first entries close for the SA Champions Season pinnacle.