The Lions Of Winter

Snaith goes for four Derby wins on the trot today

In the absence of the 2019 Cape Winter Series stars One World and Vardy, Saturday’s climax has lost some of its lustre.

But Justin Snaith’s record in the race is remarkable and the SA champion goes for his fourth straight victory today.

Snaith’s 2018 winner Doublemint – runs in July next Saturday (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The Snaith winners  over the past three renewals of the Gr3 Winter Derby all  had serious Vodacom Durban July threads with Doublemint in the line-up on 6 July, African Night Sky favourite in 2018 – while the evergreen, but health troubled, Elusive Silva was third last year.

The Snaith flag is carried on Saturday by the improving Nexus  – a full brother to July hopeful Lady In Black. The R1,7 million son of Dynasty has won 3 of his last 5 starts – all over a mile – and tries a trip for the first time.  His wins have been achieved with a measure of authority and barring mud and slush conditions on Saturday, he could make it a hat-trick of wins.

The fast improving Nexus – go close if he stays (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Still a one-time winner, Majestic Mozart has looked throughout the summer like a horse crying out for this kind of trip. While he gave the Cape Derby a miss, he was placed without threatening in both the first two legs of the series and has the most proven jockey aboard for the job on Saturday.

Herodotus has been plodding on at his recent starts but is another who gets the test he is probably crying out for. He does look held by Majestic Mozart though.

St Vladimir

Brett Crawford’s East Cape Derby winner St Vladimir returns from a break of seven weeks following his biggest career success. While he achieved that off a modest pace, he looked progressive, reeling off three wins on the trot at home.

It looks tough for the balance:

Line Editor has been battling to win again since shedding his maiden over 2400m in October.

A winner over 2500m when following up on his maiden score, Parade March looks a genuine staying sort.

Joey Ramsden’s Lucky Dancer has improved over ground and strips fit.

There is little to choose between him and Dharma, who has maintained fair form since his maiden win.

The latter’s stablemate Retro Effect has won two of his last three starts and looks likely to enjoy this test – his dam won at 2500m.

Celestial Prince could have scope to improve but the others may be stronger, while lightly raced recent 2500m maiden winner  Anse Lazio could be just about anything.

All told, Nexus could take his step to July dreams for 2020 and beyond with a big effort on Saturday. Majestic Mozart, St Vladimir and Herodotus could be next best.

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