Champion trainer Justin Snaith is a few hundred thousand rands off the pace in the race for this season’s South African trainers’ title, but that’s set to change at the Sun Met race meeting at Kenilworth in Cape Town this afternoon.
The R5 million Sun Met is the richest race in Africa and it’s run at the richest race meeting on the continent with prize money across the 12 races totalling nearly R19 million.
Snaith won five races at the meeting last year, including the Sun Met and two of the R1 million Grade 1 features, and there’s every chance that he will hit the jackpot again today.
He has more than 30 runners carded for the meeting and is set to dominate the Met, in which he will saddle four of the 13 runners, including hot favourite Do It Again.
It’s hard to find flaws in the case for Do It Again. Snaith predicted his charge would get better as he got older after he won the Vodacom Durban July as a three-year-old last season.
His assessment looked spot on when Do It Again produced a five-star performance to win the recent 1 600m Queen’s Plate, in which his victims included several of his Met opponents.
The four-year-old will be much better suited to the 400m longer distance of the Met and the weight conditions of the race are also in his favour.
Whichever way you look at it, his only real threat appears to be stable companion Oh Susannah, the best female runner around and winner of the Met in decisive fashion a year ago.
That puts Snaith bang on target for a Met 1-2 which will boost stable earnings by nearly R4 million and put him well on the road to winning the national trainers’ championship again.
Predictably, in light of Do It Again’s apparent dominance, ante-post betting activity is limited.
“There has been money for Head Honcho, Legal Eagle and Oh Susanna through the week, but the big players are waiting for race day to plunge on Do It Again,” a spokesperson for corporate bookmaking chain Betting World said.
The support for Legal Eagle is worth noting. He failed in the Queen’s Plate, but champion jockey Lyle Hewitson takes over the reins today and will ride the gelding more patiently, which could bring a much-improved display.