Var’s In A Hurry!

While Snaith urges colleagues to come to the party with 2yo's...

Avontuur’s champion stallion Var produced a national baby race ‘scurry’ double on Saturday, with his daughter Hamunaptra winning at Turffontein – and the speedy colt Var Ahead cruising in just twenty minutes later at Kenilworth for Justin Snaith.

Var Ahead wins Cape scurry

Var Ahead (Bernard Fayd’herbe) lives up to his name (Pic: Wayne Marks)

Var requires no introductions and his 23 lots on the forthcoming Cape Premier Yearling Sale will be grabbing the attention of buyers across the spectrum again. The simple fact is that both sexes run, and with stakes performers from 1000m to 3200m, he has got to be a dream sire in anybody’s catalogue.

And the quick return was there in the form of the two Saturday winners.

After Corne Spies had sent out the first national 2yo winner at Turffontein a week earlier in the form of the Querari filly, Fresh, who won easily, it was the turn of the Var duo on Saturday.

Andrew Fortune looked to be bluffing at the 150m marker in the Turffontein second and Hamunaptra won rather more readily than the winning margin suggests – holding off a green Silver King.

The winner was a 2015 CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale purchase and was bred by Haras Del Carmo, from the six-time winning Goldmark mare, U Aintseenothinyet.

The latter  was trained by Mike Bass and was a versatile galloper who won from 1400m to 2200m.

At Kenilworth, Var Ahead lived up to his name as he ran away from his field for an easy victory.

The good looking Moutonshoek-bred colt is out of the very fast five-time winning Way West mare, Waywest Goddess.

He was a R400 000 National Yearling Sale purchase and races in the Braam van Huyssteen silks – in partnership with Greg Bortz and breeder, Chris Gerber.

Bernard Fayd’herbe, who rode the first double on the card, was full of ‘praise’ for the winning trainer after the race.

“Justin (Snaith) is not only a great trainer, he is also a riding master. Before the race he was giving me a riding lesson on how to get my mount out of the gates quickly. I did the opposite of what he suggested and it worked  out very well!  He has been quite soft on his babies – this one came on  early – and I had the race won after 50m,” he laughed.

Justin Snaith - coaching a top jockey - just part of the job!

Justin Snaith – coaching a top jockey – just part of the job!

Justin Snaith touched on how he had changed his approach with his 2yo’s.

“These days we let them show us. I used to train them all at the same pace. Now I pick 3 – that is,  without names and breeding, and and leave the rest alone. When I looked at Var Ahead’s pedigree after he had stood out – well that said it all,” he suggested.

Var Ahead will now be packed away and brought out for the listed feature on Met day.

Snaith had a dig at his colleagues but made a valid point about the desirability of these races:

“Why do we always have to save these baby races? I don’t know why 2yo racing is non-existent. We get the sms’s to please leave our horses in to save the race. It’s crazy – we need to give owners a quick return like they do in Australia,” he urged.

And of course, to give them an incentive, he suggests the Handicappers ‘need to slow down’.

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