Justin Snaith and Anthony Delpech enjoyed a dream Guineas double at Greyville on Friday evening and savoured the added thrill of watching the Silvano 3yo Black Arthur take a quantum leap into the Vodacom Durban July picture with a sizzling win in the R600 000 Gr2 SA Guineas.
The combination endured something of a shaky start to the big evening with star racer and stallion-to-be Legislate running below par in the Drill Hall Stakes.
But that despair turned around in just over an hour with a Guineas double and Snaith’s SA Champions Season shares were soon trading again at record levels.
But he would have been worried early in the Guineas as he saw Anthony Delpech scrubbing at Black Arthur to get him into the race, with stablemate Baritone a length behind him, as Sylvester The Cat set a decent pace out front with Rabada in striking distance.
Despite returning from a 14 week break following Investec Cape Derby fourth, Black Arthur went off joint 33-10 favourite here with stablemate and recent Byerley Turk runner-up, Baritone – with Joburg raider Rabada at 7-2.
But things panned out well for Snaith.
With the field fanning out across the width of the track as they came for home, the gaps opened with Black Arthur making giant strides from ten lengths back.
Byerley Turk winner Mambo Mime, who was also way back, cut a different route up the outside and he was also full of running.
But in a flash, Delpech bounced Black Arthur down the middle and with a slick change of whip hands the Silvano colt was flying and he went away to win by a half length in a time of 98,63 secs.
The gutsy Rabada, who had his wide draw beautifully overcome by the astute Anton Marcus, went down the inside rail and held on doggedly for second, ahead of Mambo Mime who ran a really very decent race from way back to stay on well for third.
The top three were well ahead of the rest, with Ten Gun Salute grabbing fourth cheque a length behind the third horse in a blanket tussle for the final placing.
The Avontuur-sponsored Anthony Delpech confirmed that they had galloped the winner at Greyville and he had impressed him.
“I liked him and he gave me a good feel in work. This mile is a bit short and we thought the Greyville circuit may be a bit tight. But the amount of ground he made just shows he is a serious horse. They went fast, which also helped. He is the kind of horse I am thinking of riding in the July,” he suggested with a glint in his eye.
Trainer Justin Snaith was over-the-moon with his Guineas double and said it had been tough giving the Joburg season a miss with all his firepower – ‘I’m like my horses, I’m a competitor,” he said
He could not stop raving about what a beautiful specimen Black Arthur is.
“He is a beautiful, beautiful horse. Thanks so much to the Fosters – it is special to own good horses, but when you breed them yourself, that is extra special. And Anthony Delpech is just too good – what a jockey!” he said.
Black Arthur was bred by his co-owner Alec Foster and is a son of Silvano out of the three-time winning Western Winter mare, Grace Me Guide, who raced in the same silks for Dean Kannemeyer.
He has now won 4 races with 1 place from 6 starts and took his stakes total to R668 125.
There was talk of Black Arthur’s July odds being slashed from 50’s to 12-1!
That is hardly surprising given the glaring merit of this win over a trip on the short side for him – and Anthony Delpech sounds like he wants the ride. Plenty of positives.
Gr2 Guineas (SAf-Gr2)
Greyville, South Africa, May 6, R600k, 1600m, turf, good, 1.38.63
1 – BLACK ARTHUR (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Silvano (GER) – Grace Me Guide (SAF) by Western Winter (USA). Owner Mr A N & The Hon Mrs G R Foster; Breeder AN Foster; trainer J Snaith; jockey A Delpech
2 – Rabada (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Brave Tin Soldier (USA) – Jordie (SAF) by Fard (IRE)
3 – Mambo Mime (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Mambo In Seattle (USA) – Murmuration (USA) by Miswaki (USA)
Margins: 0.50, 1.00, 0.50