SA champion trainer Justin Snaith provided the fireworks in Saturday’s R250 000 Gr3 Victress Stakes when his smart duet Jet Supreme and her younger and more fancied stablemate Acrostar came home with a nose separating them at the line.
In the end a tactically superb ride by Sean Cormack sealed victory, and set him and the young champion up for a terrific feature double on the afternoon.
Snaith was vocal (he is seldom quiet!) in the build-up to the race and said that he would be disappointed not to win it with his powerful trio – and things turned out well in the end with the exacta in the bag.
The result was a mirror of the result of the Gr3 Final Fling Stakes which Jet Supreme won in the Cape winter.
And any suggestions that first-choice stable jockey Richard Fourie did anything wrong on the fancied Australian-bred Acrostar, are definitely without foundation.
It was just that the astute Cormack boxed clever and made all the right moves at the right time – and it is those deft little touches that win races.
The vastly improved and progressive Acrostar was a popular choice to make it a hat-trick of wins and she went off at 12 to 10, with topweight Jet Supreme freely available at 8 to1.
Bursary jumped slowly with the other nine runners getting away on terms.
With little natural pace in the race, Mike Bass had his second-stringer Lucky Tuesday out front to set the fractions.
Sean Cormack had done his homework and he had Jet Supreme tracking the leader and two lengths adrift in second and loping along ahead of Dean Kannemeyer’s 3yo, Indaba and Snaith’s ‘third-stringer’, Star Jet.
The fancied Acrostar was confidently ridden by Richard Fourie and she tailed her field some 15 lengths back in last.
Into the long summer course run-in, Lucky Tuesday stuck to her guns as Cormack sent Jet Supreme on a tight rein down the inside with Indaba looking dangerous moving into contention in the centre of the track.
Acrostar had also begun unwinding from the rear down the outside and was bearing down on the leader.
Sean Cormack had ridden a pearler though and the KZN-based rider grabbed the initiative at the 300m marker and pinched a vital two lengths on his field.
With Acrostar unwinding from last with her usual flourish, she cut back the deficit with every stride but failed by a nostril to nab the year older Jet Supreme, who was definitely not winning out of turn.
The vital difference was a short head, with the winner clocking a time of 112,66 secs.
The 3yo Indaba ran a cracker after tracking Jet Supreme the whole way round and, while she had no answer to the superior finish of the older Snaith duet, she stayed on gallantly to grab third and some important black type.
Shingwedzi had every chance but battled to kick in the straight and stayed on for fourth.
Jet Supreme was bred by Patricia Devine and is by Jet Master out of the one – time winning New Zealand bred Zabeel mare, Solea.
She has now won 5 races from 22 starts with 9 places and R640 805 in stakes.
This was her third stakes success after opening her account in the Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes in KZN last season.
There is just no stopping the Snaith express.
Gr3 Victress Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Kenilworth, South Africa, December 13, R250k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.52.66
1 – JET SUPREME (SAF), 60.0, b m 5, Jet Master (SAF) – Solea (NZ) by Zabeel (NZ). Owner Mrs P J & Mr H C Devine; Breeder PJ Devine; trainer J Snaith; jockey S Cormack
2 – Acrostar (AUS), 59.5, ch f 4, Danehill Dancer (IRE) – Nova Star (AUS) by Iglesia (AUS)
3 – Indaba (SAF), 52.0, b f 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Posh Lady (SAF) by Proclaim
Margins: 0.20, 1.50, 0.10