Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The flags at Kenilworth Racecourse flew at half-mast this week and the jockeys wore black armbands in memory of leading racehorse owner Jack Mitchell, 72, who died last Sunday after a battle with cancer.

The former Allan Gray investment kingpin was the owner, or part-owner, of a string of top thoroughbreds that included horses of the year Legislate and Futura as well as Snowdance and Jackson and 2018’s Durban July winner Do It Again.

Mitchell, who was born into a racing family, also served as a Jockey Club steward for more than 21 years and was known as a man with a good eye for young horses. He was an expert at selecting yearlings at auction sales.

Mitchell’s main trainer Justin Snaith has trucked Do It Again and Snowdance from their Cape base to Durban once more for the 2019 Champions Season and they are being aimed at the most suitable major races. Snowdance will contest the SA Fillies Sprint at the end of May and Do It Again has the defence of his July title as his long-term mission.

While Do It Again is assured of his place, there are 43 other entries for the 2019 renewal of SA’s flagship race scheduled for Greyville on July 6. With only 18 allowed to run, and to obtain a berth, several of the handicapper’s so-called border liners will be fighting it out in Saturday’s grade 2 WSB Greyville 1900.

The merit ratings of at least 30 July contenders are cramped in the early 100s range and the likes of Doublemint, Kampala Campari, Eyes Wide Open and Orpheus all need big runs to get the attention of the handicapper and the selection panel. This will ensure a most competitive race in which the vote goes to Snaith’s 2019 Winter Derby winner Doublemint.

Snaith will fancy his filly Miyabi Gold to go close in the listed East Coast Cup, but at the weights her rival Sabina’s Dynasty holds the trump card.

Greyville selections

Race 1: (1) Winter Twilight (3) Shadrack (9) Thomas Shelby (7) Binary Star

Race 2: (1) Another Secret (13) Preferential (6) Electric Surge (4) Centre Stage

Race 3: (6) Shoot The Wagon (2) Summer Day (11) Castellano (1) Liquid Irish

Race 4: (4) Mashari (7) Checkpoint Charlie (1) Fiorano (11) Techno Captain

Race 5: (6) Jet Stream (12) Payback Themoney (1) Zanzibarian (3) Holy Land

Race 6: (1) Sabina’s Dynasty (5) Flichity By Far (6) Twice As Smart (13) Perfect Air

Race 7: (6) Doublemint (3) Kampala Campari (1) Eyes Wide Open (11) Orpheus

Race 8: (3) Platinum Prince (1) Head Honcho (2) Matador Man (4) Q The Music

Race 9: (6) Seek The Summit (7) Into The Front (11) Barinois (9) Arizona Sunset