On another memorable day for the Varsfontein team, Justin Snaith and Richard Fourie placed the cherry on the cake with a scintillating win by the 3yo Erik The Red, who demonstrated the vintage of the current sophomore crop when he powered to an impressive victory in the Cape Thoroughbred Sales Gr2 Cape Merchants at Kenilworth on Saturday.
After Malmoos’ scintillating Guineas prep in the Gr2 Concorde Cup a half hour earlier, it was another Varsfontein bred 3yo son of our late stakes centurion Captain Al, who set the turf alight in dazzling style.
Starting a 2-1 favourite under his handy 52kgs, but still technically a half kilo under sufferance, the award-winning Erik The Red, who looks to have some exciting stuff in store this summer, came from off the pace under an oozing with confidence Richard Fourie, and underscored his liking for the Kenilworth 1200m with a dashing three quarter length victory in a time of 71,35 secs.
Snaith and Fourie won this race in 2018 with subsequent Equus Champion Kasimir – dare we says, another son of the great Captain!
It was a win full of merit and character after Erik The Red’s 12 week break following his Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes success at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
In a notable race for the Snaith’s, the winner’s stablemate Rio Querari (3-1) ran second, while the third of the champion yard’s trio, Captain Tatters (13-2) was a commendable 1,45 length fifth.
Raced and bred by the in-form Varsfontein team, the winner is, as we have repeated in due tribute, another smart son of deceased champion Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the 2011 Gr1 Majorca Stakes victress and seven-time winner Covenant (Western Winter) – a half-sister to the Gr1 placed dam of Vinery Stud’s Breeders’ Cup-winning sire Pluck as well as to the champion dam of Varsfontein’s very promising Jet Master stallion Master Of My Fate.
Erik The Red has won 6 races with 2 places from 9 starts for stakes of R551 625.
The Stipes reported:
- In a tightly bunched field, Rio Querari (G van Niekerk) and Third Runway (M Winnaar) brushed leaving the 450m.
- At the 250m Rio Querari (G van Niekerk) shifted in slightly and brushed the hindquarters of Point Of Sale (G Cheyne) which was momentarily unbalanced.
- At the 250m Elusive Trader (A Andrews) was tightened for galloping room between Fabian (A Domeyer) and World Your Oyster (S Mbhele) and as a consequence Fabian (A Domeyer) and Elusive Trader (A Andrews) brushed on two occasions
- Worlds Your Oyster was found not striding out right hind
- Ready Steady Go was reported to have made an abnormal respiratory noise