With big money on offer, and sometimes rather limited opposition to face on the Highveld, it is puzzling why more Cape trainers don’t try and beat the altitude bogey and the inherent risks of long distance travel, and go for the big prizes.
Dean Kannemeyer experienced some bad luck recently with his top filly Hashtagyolo returning to KZN without racing.
But Glen Kotzen and Justin Snaith’s success at the Vaal on Saturday may have given their colleagues some food for thought.
Contesting a R130 000 Fillies & Mares Pinnacle Stakes on the classic track 1450m, Kotzen’s Silvan Star and Snaith’s Gimme Six dominated a race which looked local star Nother Russia’s for the taking.
All three were returning from 8 weeks off since Met Day. Silvan Star and Gimme Six had run fourth and fifth respectively in the Majorca Stakes, won in such impressive style by Snowdance.
Watch the movie to see how they ran:
The 11-10 favourite Mother Russia was beaten close on 7 lengths by Oh Susanna in the Sun Met.
On Saturday, the Mike de Kock 5yo was at least 2,5kgs better off with the other runners – although the trip was admittedly on the sharp side for her. But that also applied to the Gr3 Final Fling Stakes winner Silvan Star.
After Paree had shown the way, Richard Fourie sent Silvan Star in the Peter de Beyer silks down the rail and she stretched well to hold Gimme Six to a 0,90 length margin in a time of 88,26 secs
Mother Russia wasn’t punished by Craig Zackey and only kicked into gear late – finishing third, a further 1,70 lengths back.
Fourie, in scintillating form, paid his way with a double on the day – booting home Gentleman Only for Tyrone Zackey in the eighth.
Both Glen Kotzen and Jono Snaith confirmed to the Sporting Post afterwards that their charges would be aimed at the R1 million Gr1 Empress Club Stakes run over 1600m on 21 April and would then transfer to Summerveld to pursue their SA Champions Season campaign.
Ascot Stud bred Silvan Star from champion sire Silvano (Lomitas) out of the one-time winner, Bold Choice (Lecture).
She was purchased for R200 000 on the National Yearling Sale and has won 7 races with 6 places from 18 starts for stakes of R658 675.
Entries for a likely return match of the trio in the Empress Club Stakes, close on Monday 9 April.