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Snowdance crushes Guineas rivals

Posted 3 December 2017 at 08:38

CAPE FILLIES GUINEAS (GRADE 1) - R1,000,000 - 1600m - Kenilworth

1st R625,000, 2nd R200,000, 3rd R100,000 - December 2


Snowdance looked every inch a champion in the making when taking this classic in sizzling style. Sent off a short-prized favourite on the strength of her front-running tour de force in the Gr.2 Fillies Championship on 28 October, was covered up this time round and cornered fourth at the top of the straight. Galvanized by jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe, she quickened into the lead at the quarter mark to go clear in a matter of strides. It was race over and Fayd’Herbe cut a confident figure as she cruised home to win geared down, the winning margin of 3.25 lengths flattering stable companion Oh Susannah (Street Cry), who shaded Fresnaye (Western Winter) on the line. The race proved a triumph for Drakenstein Stud, co-owner with Jack Mitchell of the winner and also owner-breeder of both the second and third.

Beaten just once in four starts, Snowdance commanded a R2 million price tag at the 2016 National Yearling Sale and rightly so, as she is the latest Gr.1 winner to emerge from one of the most contemporary female families in South Africa, that of Broodmare of the Year, Mystic Spring (Royal Academy).

Snowdance is out of her Gr.3 winning daughter Spring Lilac (Joshua Dancer), whose five stakes winning siblings include champions Rabiya (Jallad) and Bela-Bela (Dynasty), as well as multiple Gr.2 winner Secret Of Victoria (Goldkeeper), the dam of champion All Is Secret and Gr.1 winner The Secret Is Out, both by Snowdance’s sire Captain Al.

Mystic Spring was credited with yet another Gr.2 winner this past week when her Captain Al son Secret Captain was awarded last season’s Gr.2 Daisy Guineas following the disqualification of winner Janoobi (Silvano) on a positive test.

Spring Lilac’s juvenile filly and colt foal are also by Captain Al. The mare has a yearling filly by Dynasty and she returned to him this spring. - AvdB
(Picture: Chace Liebenberg)



GREEN POINT STAKES (GRADE 2) - R400,000 - 1600m - Kenilworth

1st R250,000, 2nd R80,000, 3rd R40,000 - December 2


Horse of the Year Legal Eagle served  notice that he’s on track for a Queen’s Plate treble when he  successfully defended his Green Point crown.

The champion tracked the pace set by Captain America (Captain Al) before being shaken up by Anton Marcus to hit the front 200m from home. Fellow Mayfair Speculators colour-bearer Edict Of Nantes (Count Dubois) sneaked up the inside rail with a determined challenge, but the champ always had his measure and finished with a flourish to score by a cosy half length, the same winning margin over Marinaresco twelve months ago. Captain America repeated his third place of last year as well.

‘I have plenty of respect for Captain America so I didn’t want to get into a dogfight,” Marcus admitted afterwards.

Sean Tarry was pleased by the star’s workmanlike performance and said: “I am always mindful not to overcook him as he cannot be at his peak yet.”

The country’s champion miler over the past two seasons, Legal Eagle also retained his unblemished record over the distance, which includes Gr.1 doubles in both the Queen’s Plate and H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. This latest success took his record to 11 wins and seven places from 20 starts and upped his career earnings to R9,650,000.

Bred at Avontuur Stud and by far the best progeny of champion Greys Inn, he is out of Gr.3-placed Young Sensation (National Emblem), who, like her son, was trained by Sean Tarry. Grandam Fair Model (Model Man) won the Gr.1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship and traces to the famed blue hen mare Ethane, the dam of champion two and three-year-old Hawaii and the multiple Gr.1 winner William Penn. - AvdB



CAPE MERCHANTS (GRADE 2) - R400,000 - 1200m - Kenilworth

1st R250,000, 2nd R80,000, 3rd R40,000 - December 2


Runner-up twelve months ago, Silicone Valley went one better when he swept from off the pace to post a deserved first stakes success at the tender age of seven.

Entering the final 50m, favourite Dutch Philip (What A Winter) burst from the pack and poked his head in front, however he had no answer to the whirlwind finish of Glen Puller’s veteran, who blitzed past to win going away.

This career-best effort from the winner came on the back of a smart third in the Gr.3 Matchem Stakes over 1400m, where he had finished just over a length behind Our Mate Art. Effective from 1200 to a mile, Silicone Valley has now won six times and has rewarded his owners to the tune of R784,925.

The Klawervlei-bred is the eighth stakes winner sired by champion Jay Peg and is out of Prize Collection (Model Man), who also produced Gr.3 Final Fling Stakes third Margaret Court (Lake Coniston). A half-sister to Gr.2 Southern Cross victress Popular Girl (Dancing Champ), Prize Collection is a grandaughter of celebrated taproot mare Party Time, whose many high-class descendants include the champions Trademark, Let’s Rock’N Roll and In The Fast Lane. - AvdB

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