The prospect of Justin Snaith sending out a 22-1 winner of any Guineas in the country sounds relatively far-fetched on any average day.
But in hindsight, the lockdown has thrown the cat amongst the form pigeons and has already produced a few gems to ponder over as the SA Champions Season gets going.
None less so than champion Beach Beauty’s first foal, Wild Coast, who upstaged a decent field to score a dazzling victory in Sunday’s R175 000 World Sports Betting Gr2 Guineas at Hollywoodbets Greyville, to give the rampant Cape side a great feature double on the day.
Ironically, the race was Wild Coast’s original chief SA Champions Season target.
And his running-on fourth when three lengths off the subsequently exported Kilindini in the Gr1 Cape Guineas just before Christmas wasn’t the worst reference either.
But, despite the handicapper having him carded as the second highest-rated horse in the eleven-strong field behind De Kock’s Gauteng challenger Frosted Gold, there were clearly reservations in the betting markets about his likely readiness to step up to the plate.
In the race, run at a decent pace compared to the fairer sex equivalent earlier, the Dennis Bosch runner Padre Pio ensured an honest gallop.
Donovan Dillon had Wild Coast second last, just ahead of the awkward galloping Frosted Gold.
In the dash for the line, Wild Coast ground away and cut back the deficit down the inside as Padre Pio kept on relentlessly with the line beckoning, with Sachdev looking dangerous, but not quickening.
At the 200m, Wild Coast and Golden Ducat, down the outside, looked the dangers.
To his credit, Dillon kept his head and rode a balanced finish under a left-handed drive and he nabbed the high-riding Craig Zackey on the Bosch runner at the final jump.
A cracking climax to a superb start to the SA Champions Season with a short head seperating the top two!
The winner clocked 97,19 secs – substantially quicker than the ladies – and his best career effort to date contributed to a part Pick 6 carryover.
Hawwaam’s Cape Derby winning half-brother Golden Ducat (Philanthropist) only got going when the race was over and he ran a great race, just over a half length adrift in third. A smart Daily News trial for Eric Sands!
The winner’s more fancied stablemate Sachdev was under a length off the trophy in fourth.
Donovan Dillon, who rode a powerful finish to nab the pacemaker, said that he appreciated the opportunity from a trainer with whom he went back a long way.
Justin Snaith said that, like Bunker Hunt, Wild Coast was a horse who didn’t take a lot of work, and relayed an analogy with an Opel that he once drove that kept blowing it’s turbo.
“You have to be careful with the prep. He was always going to be a horse who would run fresh. It’s so fitting that Beach Beauty’s son comes out at the venue of some of her greatest performances to win the Natal Guineas. And he is by the Ruperts’ champion stallion Trippi.”
The Drakenstein Stud bred Wild Coast is in the first runner produced by the remarkable Beach Beauty, South Africa’s Equus Champion Older Female in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
Trained by Dennis Drier, the charismatic Beach Beauty won 17 races for earnings of over R5,3 million during her illustrious career, winning from 1000-2000m.
Her 12 graded wins included five Gr1’s – including doubles in the Gr1 Garden Province Stakes and Gr1 Paddock Stakes, and a triumph in the Gr1 Majorca Stakes.
She was also runner up twice in the Gr1 Gold Challenge, and ran third in the Gr1 J &B Met, when taking on some of the best males of her generation.
Interestingly, Wild Coast, who races in the finery of Caroline Rupert’s Anyasec (Pty) Ltd is still a colt.
He was a R2,5 million Cape Premier Yearling Sale buy and has now won 3 races with 3 places from 7 starts for stakes of R274 625.
History shows that Justin Snaith won the 2014 renewal of this race with Legislate and the 2018 running with Do It Again. Both went on to win the Durban July.
Be sure that Wild Coast’s name will be amongst the big race entries on Monday.