Gr2 KRA Guineas: Solo Traveller

Solo Traveller – successful in both the Cape and Natal Guineas.

As with the fillies’ equivalent, the Natal Guineas is always a very exciting affair as it brings together the best 3yo’s from around the country. This year’s event was billed as a three way contest between the Gauteng Guineas winner Link Man and the two Justin Snaith runners, Solo Traveller and Run For It. They had finished first and second respectively in the Cape Guineas.

Due to unfortunate circumstances and luck in running here though, we were deprived of what might have been a very intriguing battle.

Link Man topped the boards when the betting opened and finding strong support at the track was eventually sent off in the red at 9/10 (opened 15/10). Second favourite Solo Traveller was allowed to join Run For It at 9/2 for while, but was then forced back down into 15/4. With the bookmakers calling 9/1 bar the three when the gates opened, it was the easy to back Go Go Loochee who elected to set the pace and a brisk one it was too. Indeed, soon three lengths clear, he very quickly had the field strung out. Going beyond sprint distances for only the second time in his career, Elusive River raced second, whilst another two lengths away in third was Solo Traveller. Mystic Moon, Ridethebreeze and the Dingaans winner The Apache came next whilst racing some nine lengths off the speed were both Link Man and Run For It.

The order changed little during the early part of the race, but as they came off the bend Ridethebreeze had moved up to be a clear fourth. As they approached the 400m marker though, something went badly amiss with Ridethebreeze and slowing up dramatically as he veered across the track, he took up the running of Run For It and virtually brought that one to a standstill. Link Man to a lesser extent was also forced to ease as he in turn was carried out very wide. Others behind were also hampered.

Oblivious of what was happening behind them, the front three were running their races and as the gallant Go Go Loochee began to shorten his stride both Elusive River and Solo Traveller moved in for the kill. Elusive River ran on strongly at the business end of the race and almost got his head in front 200m out. Solo Traveller was clearly traveling much the better of the two at that point though and after striking the front at the distance, he drew clear nicely late to score by two.

Phantom Fighter and The Apache stayed on to take third and fourth, whilst just behind the pacemaker in sixth was the luckless Link Man. Mike De Kock’s charge had been five or six lengths behind Solo Traveller at the top of the straight and despite all, was only beaten by a similar margin. One mustn’t take anything away from Solo Traveller though, he did what he had to do in good style and the manner of his victory would suggest that he could have found extra if needed..

Bred by Lammerskraal Stud, Solo Traveller is a son of the very popular sire Western Winter out of the Jallad mare Strawberry Lane. His stake earnings now total over R1,23M from just eleven outings and with the Natal season still in it’s infancy that well deserved tally looks sure to increase.


KRA Guineas (SAf-G2) (5/13)
Greyville, South Africa, May 13, R500.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.35.27 (CR 1.32.77).
1 – SOLO TRAVELLER (SAF), 58.0, b g 3, Western Winter – Strawberry Lane (SAF) by Jallad. Owner & breeder Lammerskraal Stud (SAF); trainer J Snaith; jockey B Fayd’herbe (R331.522)
2 – Elusive River (AUS), 58.0, b g 3, Elusive Quality – River Woman (AUS) by Desert King
3 – Phantom Fighter (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Jet Master (SAF) – Fine Feather (SAF) by Best By Test
Margins: 2, 3¼, ½

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