Top SA Sprinter Headed For Breeders Cup

Star mare Make It Snappy destined for Barnane Stud

Dual Gr1-winning sprinter Isivunguvungu is on his way to Johannesburg and on 5 March leaves for America, where he will be trained for the Hollywood Syndicate by Graham Motion.

Meanwhile, Hollywood’s leased dual Gr1 winner Make It Snappy has been retired and will be on the same flight as Isivunguvungu, although her eventual destination is the Kieswetter family’s Barnane Stud in Ireland.

Gr1 winning speedster Isivunguvungu (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

The Hollywood Syndicate’s racing manager Anthony Delpech said, “They have to spend two months in quarantine in America. Isivunguvungu will then go to the trainer and start getting his fitness back. The aim is the Breeders Cup and he will have one or two runs before then. We will be able to see what level he is up to. It’s all part of learning.”

The former Peter Muscutt-trained Narrow Creek Stud-bred 130 merit-rated What A Winter gelding will stick to turf for the time being. It is the surface he is used to and it is also easier to beat the Americans on the turf as the competition over there is a lot stronger on the dirt.

Anthony revealed, “Mike de Kock helped us get Graham Motion. Mike has done this same trip before and I asked him for advice. He advised Graham Motion because Motion grew up in England and trains more in the English way. He is not hard on them and is a good turf trainer. The facility where he trains is also kinder on the horses’ legs … he has a very good track track there. All those little bits of advice help, especially when you are going somewhere where you have no idea … Mike’s been there and done that before.”

Graham Motion has had tremendous success in America, including four Breeders Cup wins, all on turf.

However, he has also won the Kentucky Derby and the Dubai World Cup on dirt with Animal Kingdom, a horse owned by Barry Irwin’s Team Valor International syndicate.

Graham operates out of Fair Hill Training Center in Northeast Maryland. He is represented by strings at Palm Meadows Training Center and Tampa Bay Downs in Florida each winter.

Isivunguvungu did not have the opportunity this season to clinch a third Gr 1, which had been his mission in Cape Town, after having to be scratched at the start of the World Pool Cape Flying Championship.

Anthony revealed what happened in that devastatingly unlucky incident, “Apparently he got a fright from the drone that was behind the stalls and then jumped forward and was obviously going too fast so the handler turned him and he cut himself on the shoulder on the side of the gate. You’re prepared for the race you want to win and just one little thing going wrong as he’s going in and that’s the end of it … can you believe it.”

Make It Snappy (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

The Dynasty filly Make It Snappy was leased to Hollywood by her breeders Ridgemont. She gave Hollywood their first ever Gr1 win last season in the WSB Cape Fillies Guineas and she followed up by winning the Gr 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes.

She was off for a year after running unplaced in the the WSB Met last year and after an unplaced run in the Gr 1 City Of Cape Town Majorca Stakes last month she has now been retired.

The Kieswetter family own both Ridgemont in South Africa and Barnane Stud in Ireland and the plan is to stand Make It Snappy at the latter stud.

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