This Justin Rocks!

True To Form! Piere Strydom guides True Master to a smooth East Cape Derby win

True To Form! Piere Strydom guides True Master to a smooth East Cape Derby win

Mike De Kock may well be our champion trainer, but Justin Snaith proved again that he is South African horseracing’s poster boy. The young Cape trainer put the cherry on top of a fantastic 13 race winning streak this past weekend when True Master won the R350 000 Gr3 East Cape Derby at Fairview on Sunday in fine style.

De Kock in fact once affectionately referred to Snaith as Justin ‘Bieber’ in a post race interview, and it was appropriate that South Africa was in the grip of Bieber fever this past week, with horseracing preferring to enjoy the achievements of its own star of stage. And he didn’t let the side down.

There are few training operations that can pull off marketing coups on the level of the Snaith Racing Team. The bells and whistles are one thing, but when they are accompanied by winners, then everybody inevitably lives happily ever after.

And while we have become used to the Snaiths utilising the ample platforms of big days like the J&B Met and the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate to show off their wares, they dominated the past weekend in two different provinces.

From 38 runners from Friday at Fairview, through Kenilworth on Saturday and back to Fairview on Sunday, Snaith sent out 13 winners and 11 placed runners. Piere Strydom rode the majority of the winners, scoring on 7 of them.

And Striker’s ride on True Master in the East Cape Derby was his usual top drawer stuff, after that bizarre Dahlia Plate horror story on Friday on the favourite Another Idea, also for Snaith. But that’s history now.

Placido led for most of the way in the Derby from Parker and Coltrane,with the likes of True Master and Burlaine Forest well back in running.

At the 400m marker the Joey Ramsden trained Coltrane in the Jooste silks hit the front looking a winner, but was quick to fade as Neartic Dancer and True Master made their efforts.

Celebration. True Master is led in by Cameron Braun, Etienne Braun, Paul Loomes and Jono Snaith

Celebration. True Master is led in by Cameron Braun, Etienne Braun, Paul Loomes and Jono Snaith

Inside the final 200m Strydom produced True Master at 15 to 10 with a sustained run to win by 1,25 lengths in a time of  157,76 secs. Neartic Dancer ran on well for second on his PE debut, while Placido displayed remarkable stamina to stay on doggedly for third.

True Master was the second Varsfontein Stud bred feature winner of the day after River Crossing had won the Highland Night Cup at Clairwood.

He is by Jet Master out of the seven time winning Badger Land mare, Bushra. Justin understandably called the Badger Land produce, ‘my favourites.’

True Master, who races for the illustrious partnership of Etienne Braun, Markus & Ingrid Jooste,Paul Loomes and Jack Mitchell, cost all of R1,2 million on the National Yearling Sale. He looks very promising and worth every cent of that price tag right now.

True Master has now won 5 races from 1400m to 2400m with 1 place from his 8 starts.

He took his earnings to R381 830.

Strydom thanked Snaith for putting him on the ‘right one’ and said that True Master was a ‘very smart horse.’

Snaith quipped casually afterwards that True Master could head up to KZN to take his chances in the Gr1 Daily News 2000.

“It doesn’t look like the strongest field at this stage,” he said cheekily. That is taking into account that we could see the likes of Vercingetorix and Capetown Noir returning to settle a score there!

That’ll teach Mike De Kock for calling him Bieber.

And what a race the Daily News is likely to be!

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