Vodacom Durban July day 2021 won’t exactly go down as a vintage renewal for South African championship log-leading trainer Justin Snaith.
After lifting the Durban July silverware for the previous three years, there was no fairytale this time round.
But you can’t win them all and the former SA Champion left it to the final two races on the card to restore some respectability.
Snaith said from early in the premier season that his horses would peak on the big day.
He came armed with 18 bullets to the July gunfight, and left it late to register a feature double in the last two races of what turned out to be a highly entertaining day’s racing – with improved camerawork worthy of a mention.
“To win a race on this competitive day, I will take it with two hands. To Michelle Rix and everybody who won races today well done. They made the right decisions at the right time,” said Justin as he breathlessly described a scintillating last to first effort under a back-breaking 62kgs by his former Equus Champion Sprinter Kasimir to win the R300 000 Gr2 Post Merchants.
Watch the replay here:
“I suggested that Kasimir was maybe ready for retirement. But Justin sorted out a few niggles and had other ideas. The game plan was to drop him out and he really did take off,” said Richard Fourie of one of his favourite horses.
From the 13 draw, it was a tactical plan come together as Kasimir (14-1) stormed down the inside to gain a 0,80 length verdict from the luckless Chantyman (12-1), who looked a winner late in the game.
Kasimir clocked 70,67 secs for the 1200m, with the consistent 3yo favourite MK’s Pride (5-4) running another game race to bank the third cheque.
Bred by Drakenstein Stud, Kasimir is a son of deceased champion sire Captain Al (Al Mufti) and is out of the top-class Gr1 producing three-time winner Aquatint (Peintre Celebre).
A R1,2 million Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, he took his earnings to R3 978 875 with his eleventh win and twelve places from 29 starts.
Snaith rounded off the day when he saddled the Master Of My Fate 3yo Native Tongue (5-1) to an impressive late victory under the unstoppable Richard Fourie in the R150 000 Listed Compendium Insurance Brokers Thukela Handicap.
The Wicklow Stud bred gelding is out of the Silvano mare Nature Girl, and cost R450 000 at the National 2yo Sale.
A winner of 4 races with 2 places from his 9 starts, Native Tongue took his stakes bank to R144 000.
“You cannot look that good and not run well,” observed Justin Snaith afterwards.
He said that Richard Fourie had a top-class day in the saddle. “If there was one man who could win on this horse from that draw today it was him,” concluded Snaith.
Watch the replay here: