Cape Champion Justin Snaith has extended his national footprint, following the lead of his top colleagues Glen Kotzen and Dean Kannemeyer, with a permanent satellite base in the one province where racing seems relatively happy still.
And he saddled an first off-season feature winner when the classy Crown Towers doddled in to win the R85 000 Listed Michaelmas Handicap at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.
The Australian-bred Crown Towers gave a kilo to the very progressive Golden Ducat at his last jump in the Gr1 Champions Cup, where he was only beaten just over 3 lengths after doing the donkey work.
On Sunday, easy to back at 33-10, he was beautifully positioned a length off the gallop set by Duc D’Orange and he drew off in the home straight under Anton Marcus to withstand the challenge of Paul Peter’s Gauteng Summer Cup hopeful Sworder Street (15-10) – to whom he was conceding a hefty 10kgs – to win by 1,10 lengths in a time of 114,36 secs.
The smart Joburg stayer American Indian (20-1) stayed on without threatening in third, and 3,40 lengths off the winner.
The pacesetter Duc D’Orange fell away to last.
A winner of 4 races with 5 places from 15 starts in the Nic Jonsson silks, Crown Towers took his earnings to R325 900.
Originally knocked down to Mayfair Speculators for A$280 000 at the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Mill Park Stud, 80% shares in Crown Towers were later re-sold for R1,7 million to the current owners at the 2018 Central Route Trading Sale Durbanville Mixed and Horses In Training Sale in July 2018.
A son of Montjeu stallion Camelot, Crown Towers was produced by the smart Galileo mare Miss With Attitude – a five time winner up to 1600m and placed in the Gr2 Bill Stutt Stakes.
He hails from a high-class classic family with his relatives including Irish Oaks winner Shawanda and her ill-fated St Leger winning son Encke, and Shawanda’s three-quarter sister and Gr1 Yorkshire Oaks winner Shareta.
Snaith also won the second with the same owner-jockey combination when the Trippi gelding Rite Of Passage escaped the maidens at his fourth start.