Snaith Breaks East Coast Ice

Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes

Justin Snaith broke the ice on his 2024 East Coast campaign at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday when the exciting Vercingetorix filly Double Grand Slam won like a 4-10 shot, putting many lengths between herself and her opposition to win the R200 000 Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes to give Richard Fourie his first winner for his former team this term.

Double Grand Slam gives Richard Fourie his first winner for his former team this term (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Part owner Gary Player postponed his USA trip and was on course to enjoy the victory.

The legendary golfer issued a warning to the rest of the aspirant SA Champion Season hopefuls when he hailed his filly the best of her sex and age in the country. “If there’s a better filly in the country, I’d like to see her,” he added.

In his typically generous and philanthropic style, Gary Player shared the winner’s podium with a young man in a wheelchair, whom he had met on course. RamCat Fish, a charity dedicated to assisting the disabled, was on course.

The 1400m contest was no race, as Richard Fourie sent Double Grand Slam up the wide outside to beat the Sean Tarry-trained Mia Moo (16-1) by 5,30 lengths in a time of 84,74 secs.

Glen Kotzen saddled the third-placed Rascova (3-1), while Wendy Whitehead sent out the fourth filly Minoque (33-1).

While they had no chance with the winner, full marks to Sandy and Eugene Arundel’s Itssa It & Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd, whose silks were carried by all of the second, third and fourth-placed finishers. All three are with different trainers – something that is commendable in an age of imbalances of power.

A R1 million National Yearling Sale purchase, Double Grand Slam is raced by Dave Maclean, Suzette Viljoen and Gary Player, and was bred by Varsfontein. She is by Vercingetorix (Silvano) out of the two-time winning Captain Al mare Princess Peach.

Double Grand Slam was winning her second graded stakes feature on the trot and has won 4 races with 3 places from 9 starts for stakes of R595 763.

Chris Snaith saddled the winner.

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