Nicci Garner: Snowdance showed her rivals a clean pair of heels in the final 300m of the R1-million World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas (Grade 1) over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday, gearing down in the final 50m and winning easily.
Lanark soon went to the front, followed by Princess Peach, Midnight Moonlight, Snowdance and Elusive Heart. The order was much the same as the runners turned for home, but Bernard Fayd’Herbe soon had the 11-10 favourite in full cry and she sliced through, putting more and more ground between herself and her rivals before gearing down to pass the line at a hack canter.
The winner’s stablemate Oh Susanna won the battle for second by a short head from Fresnaye with Lady In Black third.
Fayd’Herbe said afterwards: “This is a special filly. I’m really impressed!”
He said: “I think the last time I sat on a filly as good as this – and I’ve sat on a lot of really good fillies – it was probably Sun Classique. I rate her not far off that kind of filly. So she’s a real special filly. She’s got it all. She’s turned into a nice ride now, she’s got the temperament and you can place her, you can drop her, you can do whatever you want with her. Good horses just put themselves in the right spot. At about the 500m I thought it’s early to move now on such a good horse. But I asked hr to qucken up, gave her a few backhanders and she quickened really well.”
Winning trainer Justin Snaith said: “She’s proper. She’d been pre-trained at Drakenstein but from the day that she arrived every jockey has said she is an absolute natural. I think Greg Cheyne was the first guy to ride her and he got off and said, this is a superstar. I was like, ja, ja, we’ve got a long way to go. But there’s obviously something in the way she moves or whatever she does.”
Snowdance gave Snaith his fifth win on a red-letter day, while Fayd’Herbe was enjoying his fourth celebration in the No 1 box.
Legal Eagle won the World Sports Betting Green Point Stakes (Grade 2) over 1600m for the second year running, beating Edict Of Nantes with Captain America third.
Captain America soon led with Legal Eagle in the box seat ahead of Edict Of Nantes on the outside of Sail South. Our Mate Art and Copper Force were the backmarkers. Jockey Anton Marcus let the ruling Horse of the Year off his leash halfway down the straight and he built momentum to lead 100m from home. Meanwhile Edict Of Nantes was also unleashing a strong late run, but he got going just too late to mow down the 15-10 favourite.
Marcus said: “It’s not often that I get emotional. Period! But when it comes to this horse I do.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Captain America so I was loathe to get into a dogfight with him, especially with this horse. Sean’s left a little bit in the locker as well. You tackle Captain America early at your own peril.
“I think Edict of Nantes is the improver out of the race, but I’m delighted to be on this horse’s back.”
Jockey Donovan Dillon took full advantage of a chance ride on Glen Puller-trained Silicone Valley (12-1) to win the R400,000 World Sports Betting Cape Merchants (Grade 2) over 1200m.
He replaced jockey Anthony Delpech, who is being treated for a stomach problem.
Always In Charge, Sargeant Hardy and Search Party were well there, with Silicone Valley near the back behind a wall of horses. Dillon edged the seven-year-old towards the centre of the track and once he was in the clear, he gobbled up the ground to lead inside the final 100m and win going away by 0.75 lengths. Dutch Philip (11-2) stayed on well for second, a length in front of weak favourite Always In Charge.