It is a rare Met Day when Justin Snaith has to wait nine feature races to lift a trophy. 2017 will not go down as one of the family racing operation’s vintage Met assaults but all’s well that ends well.
As in any sport, when one has reached the pinnacle of extraordinary heights, it becomes extremely difficult repeating the feat year in and year out.
Take Met Day 2016. The Snaiths saddled eight winners in twelve races – including the first six in a row!
And things started well enough on Saturday, when Captain Swarovski bolted home under Gavin Lerena in the first to open their account.
One of four Captain Al progeny to win on the afternoon, owner Mike De Broglio claimed his own little piece of history – having enjoyed the final race winner, Baritone, on Met day 2016 and then opening matters in 2017.
With 40 carded runners on the afternnon, it was a long wait after Captain Swarovski for Justin – nine races to be exact – and he cut it quite fine as it was the last feature of the afternoon, too!
The yard had a strong three-cornered hand in the R400 000 Gr2 Cape Stayers, including the joint topweight and favourite Ovidio and Gr3 Algoa Cup winner, Captain Splendid.
But it was the third of their trio in the form of the Plattner home-bred Krambambuli who was to prove the star of the show.
Winless in over a year, Krambambuli confirmed the form of his solid Gr2 Peninsula Handicap fourth to subsequent Sun Met winner Whisky Baron at his last start and surged clear under an elated Aldo Domeyer to win by 1,25 lengths in a time of 183,72 secs.
Helderberg Blue came out of the pack to overtake the slightly lacklustre favourite Ovidio, who failed to kick.
Royal Badge ran a better race again to run fourth, while Captain Splendid was given a mountain to climb and caught the eye flying up for a 2,35 length fifth.
Justin paid tribute to the patience of owner Sabine Plattner.
“One would have thought I would have been fired after Krambambuli had been winless for 400 plus days. But it goes to show the reward for patience and I must thank Mrs Plattner. She has been a solid supporter of mine since I started out.”
On the subject of Met Day, he conceded things had been tough.
“Look, it’s getting stronger every year with the international interest and participation. It’s a great day’s racing and I must pay tribute to the Kieswetter family on their achievement,” he added.
Krambambuli has won 5 races with 8 places from 22 starts and took his stakes earnings to R663 000.
Bred by La Plaisance Stud, he is a son of Black Minnalouse out of the well-bred five time winning Woodman mare, Sailing To Rio, who also raced in the Plattner silks.
The multiple stakes placed Sailing To Rio won four in a row early on in her career and was very talented.
Things ended well for Justin – he saddled the final winner of the afternoon yet again. Gimme Six won the thirteenth, an MR 82 Handicap, in the hands of Gavin Lerena.
We look forward to Met day 2018.
Gr2 Cape Stayers (SAf-Gr2)
Kenilworth, South Africa, January 28, R400k, 2800m, turf, good, 3.03.72
1 – KRAMBAMBULI (SAF), 59.0, ch g 5, Black Minnaloushe (USA) – Sailing To Rio (AUS) by Woodman (USA). Owner Mrs S Plattner; Breeder La Plaisance Stud; trainer J Snaith; jockey A Domeyer
2 – Helderberg Blue (SAF), 59.0, b g 6, Jet Master (SAF) – Our Table Mountain (USA) by Fusaichi Pegasus (USA)
3 – Ovidio (AUS), 60.0, br g 6, Danehill Dancer (IRE) – Pre Nup (AUS) by Red Ransom (USA)
Margins: 1.25, 0.40, 0.30