Salute the Captain in Gold Challenge

Salute the Captain in Gold Challenge


Jack Milner: Justin Snaith has been having a decent run in KwaZulu-Natal this season and once again runners from his yard will dominate the betting on the feature races at Greyville on Saturday.

Snowdance has already been priced up at 12-10 to win the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge while African Night Sky and Star Express top the boards for the Grade 3 Cup Trial over 1800m and the Grade 2 Tibouchina Stakes over 1400m for fillies and mares respectively.


However, the Snaith stable could be in for a disappointing day as they are taking on some tough opposition.

Starting with the R1-million Gold Challenge, there has to be a question as to whether Snowdance is anywhere near as good as Captain America over 1600m. His record reads six wins and nine places in 15 starts. Had Legal Eagle not been around Brett Crawford’s charge would have won almost double the number of races over this distance.

In addition he comes into this race as the defending champion and Crawford has said that even at seven-years-old this son of Captain Al has lost none of his zest for racing. He is the best handicapped runner in the field, is well drawn at No 4, goes well for jockey Corne Orffer and tends to run well when fresh.

My advice is to run out and grab the 33-10 on offer at the moment. I most certainly will!

The danger could come from Trip To Heaven who has run second in this race in the last two years. In 2017 he was beaten 1.50 lengths by Captain America but a year earlier he had his nose in front at the line but was relegated to second place in the boardroom for causing interference to Mac De Lago.

Snowdance is a top filly and it would be a surprise if she did not finish in the places. But she was beaten in the Daisy Fillies Guineas by Fiorella.

She was in need of the run but even if we give her another two lengths, on that run I cannot see her beating Captain America as long as he is anywhere near his best.

African Night Sky has been priced up at 16-10 but Snaith might prefer not to win this as the weights for the Vodacom Durban July only come out on 19 June and he would not want any more weight for the big race.

There could be better value in supporting Greyville specialist Crowd Pleaser who is on offer at 10-1.

Snaith could be on the mark in the Tibouchina Stakes, however, where Star Express, with Bernard Fayd’Herbe up, looks far better than her rivals.

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