Jack Milner: Justin Snaith has thrown down the gauntlet to the connections of Summer Pudding.
“It’s summer, we like our pudding, you never know,” said Snaith, following the WSB Cape Fillies Guineas win by Captain’s Ransom over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Ridden by Richard Fourie, the daughter of Captain Al came through in the centre of the track to score a fluent 2.25-length victory over her main rival, Princess Calla, in this Grade 1 Classic on the Summer Course.
Third place, a further 1.50 lengths back, went to Chat Ching, with Dazzling Sun fourth.
Captain’s Ransom went off as TAB favourite but with bookmakers, started a 28-10 second favourite behind 22-10 shot Princess Calla, trained by Adam Marcus and ridden by Craig Zackey.
It turned out to be the two-horse race everybody expected and was already that with 200m to run.
“I wanted to get first run on Princess Calla, which I did,” said Fourie. “That obviously helped but I always felt she was in control.”
Snaith was delighted with the performance. “She has really started to mature and for once she was easy to place. She is very good. I don’t know where she gets it from,” adding that her talent, once again, highlights the contribution of Captain Al to South African racing and the impact his death will have on the sport.
When asked what was next for the filly, Snaith replied: “I will have to talk to the powers that be but it’s summer, we like our pudding, you never know.”
WSB Gauteng Summer Cup winner Summer Pudding is already in Cape Town with her two main missions being the Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth on 9 January followed by the Cape Town Met on 30 January.
Snaith hinted the Paddock Stakes could be the next move for Captain’s Ransom. When asked whether 1600m was her optimum distance, Snaith responded: “I think she will get the 1800m of the Paddock Stakes.”
It was a great day for Snaith as Vodacom Durban July winner Belgarion stormed home in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes to snatch victory from Rainbow Bridge by 0.40 lengths, with Cirillo a short head back in third. Fourth place went to Clouds Unfold.
The stable also had two other winners on the eight-race card, Rio Querari in Race 4 and Salvator Mundi in Race 8.
Sean Tarry would have been happy enough with the effort of Cirillo but no doubt loved the performance of Celtic Sea who took the Grade 2 Southern Cross Stakes. Racing for the first time over 1000m, Celtic Sea, ridden by Gavin Lerena, tracked 9-20 favourite Run Fox Run but once Lerena let her go, she ran on powerfully to win going away by one length.
While all the action was going on in Cape Town, perhaps the most impressive display of the weekend came at Turffontein where Queen Supreme (11-10) romped to a 4.25-length victory in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m.
Callan Murray had her well placed in second spot behind Chijmes, but halfway up the straight she took command and went on to win unchallenged. Chijmes stayed on for second with Astrix in third.
The Irish-bred mare is also likely to be seen in action at Kenilworth next month.