Hoedspruit in the spotlight ahead of Durban July
Justin Snaith’s runner takes on rivals in the sixth race at Scottsville on Sunday
When Justin Snaith announced his entries for the Hollywoodbets Durban July, the champion trainer was at pains to stress that Hoedspruit is no outsider and could “reward” his backers on the big day.
Many who heard him — including this writer — felt it was simply good public relations to keep the gelding’s owner, Suzette Viljoen, happy.
In the pecking order of the Snaith July entries, most pundits would rate Hoedspruit in fourth place behind Jet Dark, Double Superlative and Pomp And Power. The latter is the clear 6-1 favourite for the July with the sponsors.
Now racing fans will get the chance to monitor Hoedspruit’s wellbeing ahead of his July bid when he takes on six rivals in the sixth race at Scottsville on Sunday.
It looks as though the finish could be fought out by Hoedspruit and Firealley who are no strangers to clashes on the race track.
Snaith’s four-year-old came out on top on Queen’s Plate day but — a month earlier — Firealley emerged best by more than four lengths.
With 62kg to shoulder on Sunday, Hoedspruit faces no easy task conceding weight to Candice Bass-Robinson’s runner who will have Richard Fourie in the saddle.
This will be the first time Fourie has ridden Firealley; Aldo Domeyer has partnered him in his past three races. Perhaps he fancied Sunday on the beach.
Candice Bass-Robinson has done well with the son of Flower Alley who has notched five wins from 22 outings. Her stake earnings for Jersey resident Fiona Carmichael are close to R500,000.
Sunday’s race doesn’t look one to risk the rent money on as two other runners — Warrior and William Robertson — are no forlorn hopes. The first — good backup for the Snaith stable — is above average but the latter has been costly to follow in his recent starts.
Kenilworth hosts a nine-race programme on Saturday and Brett Crawford’s Futura colt Future Prince makes most appeal in the grade 3 Legal Eagle Stakes.
A winner of three of his five starts, the three-year-old, who has been entered for the July, looks a bargain buy at just R150,000. He is weighted to turn the tables on the top-weight Gem King.
Crawford will be disappointed if he does not take the R156,250 first cheque as he saddles four of the nine runners. Both Global Ally and Winchester Mansion provide the stable with strong backup.
The 1,800m Stormsvlei Stakes is a wide open affair and Crawford has another two in-form contenders in She’s A Rainbow and Fleeting.
Top pick in this contest is the Hollywood Syndicate’s filly Going Up, who is a full-sister to five-time winner Rose In Bloom. Candice Bass-Robinson’s three-year-old looks progressive and can notch the second win of her career by beating the Snaith inmate Peut Etre Moi.
Marion High School Stakes
1 (3) Firealley
2 (5) Hoedspruit
3 (7) Warrior
4 (1) William Robertson
Legal Eagle Stakes
1 (3) Future Prince
2 (1) Gem King
3 (6) Winchester Mansion
4 (4) Global Ally
1 (3) Going Up
2 (4) Peut Etre Moi
3 (2) She’s A Rainbow
4 (6) Fleeting
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