It is no wonder that Justin Snaith is keen to engage jockey Piere Strydom for the major Summer Of Champions racedays. The multiple champion rider’s display of cucumber cool confidence and judgement rounded off one of the most impressive performances of the afternoon when Black Arthur stormed home to win the R250 000 Gr3 Politician Stakes.
The traditional Derby Trial hosted a strong field, including Gr1 Premier Champions Stakes winner Rabada, who was having his first outing in the Cape after a ten week break and some travel issues.
But boom reputations and high faluting credentials aside, none of the visiting contingent had any answers for the Silvano colt Black Arthur, who has had Cape Derby written all over him since winning his maiden at odds-on at end of October.
Black Arthur is just a perfect Striker kind of horse and between his reputation and his post maiden win, the money came for him as he was backed into 3-1.
Rabada had to be hooded and delayed the start – he will have to be reschooled before his next engagement.
The race was a dramatic one as Black Arthur was dropped out to the end of the field as Kemal Kavur led Solar Night and Mooghamir.
Around the far bend, Kemal Kavur stetched his lead to six lengths with Mooghmair and Nebula trying to keep in touch.
At the 400m, the field had drifted to the outside as Kemal Kavurr continued to lead, with Liege and Marinaresco chasing hard down the outside.
At this point Strydom pessed the launch button and produced Black Arthur from lengths back around his field to storm home down the inside of the track and catch the outside track action napping.
Black Arthur ran on strongly to win by 0,75 lengths in a time of 111,20 secs. This beat the time of 111,54 secs run by Light The Lights in similar style, carrying 2kgs less a half hour earlier.
The Mike Bass-trained Marinaresco stayed on well for second, with the Sean Tarry runner Liege improving smartly over the trip and possibly marking himself as an outside Derby hope.
Jockey Piere Strydom was impressed by his charge.
“Justin told me some months ago to keep an eye on Black Arthur, but when I saw his was out at the weights and had a bad draw, I thought we may be expecting too much. But in the race I felt I was always gpnna get there. He was changing legs in the back straight so has a lot of improvement to come. I’d like the ride again,” he said.
Trainer Justin Snaith said that Black Arthur was an ‘amazing horse and a dream to train’.
“He just looks so good and normally those ones aren’t necessarily always so good. But he is different. I’d like to congratulate Gillian and Alec Foster and say well done to John Freeman and Varsfontein Stud.”
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 3 of his 4 starts for stakes of R243 125.
Snaith and Strydom were back in the winner’s enclosure for the Fosters three race later, when the Dynasty filly Qing registered a personal hat-trick from just five outings, when winning an MR 80 Handicap. She looks very promising.
Gr3 Politician Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Kenilworth, South Africa, January 9, R250k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.51.02
1 – BLACK ARTHUR (SAF), 57.0, 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 P Strydom
2 – Marinaresco (SAF), 55.5, b c 3, Silvano (GER) – Gay Fortuna (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
3 – Liege (SAF), 57.0, b c 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Lyrical Linda (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
Margins: 0.75, 0.05, 0.50