Cousin Unlucky – But Snaith Aussie Celebrates

Independent On Saturday Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes

The 2024 SA Champions Season got underway to a delayed start at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Wednesday with Justin Snaith claiming the first trophy in the shape of the R500 000 IOS Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes in thrilling fashion with Hollywoodbets Durban July entry, Royal Aussie.

Royal Aussie (Richard Fourie in pink) holds off an unlucky Cousin Casey (Smanga Khumalo) with Gladatorian (Sean Veale, gold cap) in third (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

A winner of the Pongracz Listed Jet Master Stakes on SplashOut Cape Derby day, Royal Aussie came out firing on all cylinders after a ten week break, to win a cracker – even though many would grant the Snaith galloper enjoyed some luck, courtesy of Cousin Casey’s serious traffic problems late in the 1400m contest.

But part-owner Suzette Viljoen deserved something of a change of fortune, after vocally pleading with sectors of the unruly mob at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday to allow racing to continue.

Richard Fourie rode his usual polished race and produced Royal Aussie at the right moment, after Humdinger had led the gallop.

The clearly unlucky horse of the race was Sean Tarry’s Cousin Casey (7-2, tote favourite) under Smanga Khumalo, who became a victim of Gladatorian’s (7-2) late antics and went down by a quarter length in a time of 82,67 secs.

Gladatorian stayed on for third, with the 3yo Gimmeanotherchance (4-1) running a decent race, after switching in late, to grab fourth.

The Klawervlei-bred Royal Aussie is a son of Royal Mo (USA) and was originally pinhooked for R300 000 at the 2021 Cape Premier Sale by Grant Knowles, and then sold at the Cape Ready To Run Sale.

Royal Aussie races for Suzette and Basie Viljoen and Dr Jill Warner in partnership with Australian-based Dane Squance, and  has now won 6 races with 9 places from 18 starts for stakes of R6 126 051.

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