Cape Town - The R1.5 million Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth Racecourse lived up to its heady billing, producing a thrilling finish on Saturday.
According to the Sporting Post website, the Justin Snaith 4-year-old Do It Again outpointed the gallant Cape Guineas star
Soqrat to join Mike Bass gallopers Trademark and Pocket Power as one of
only three horses to achieve the Durban July-Queen’s Plate double this
A great leveller, horseracing has a sobering habit of bursting our starry eyed dream bubbles on any given day of the week.
But on a sunswept Saturday at a glorious blue and white coated
Kenilworth, the dream came true for an enthusiastic on-course crowd and a
bumper television audience.
Following on the heels of the sensational Green Point Stakes blanket
finish of last month, there was unprecedented speculation and hype in
the build-up to the 158th renewal of South Africa’s premier mile.
After Hat Puntano lost many lengths at the gate, Greg Cheyne sent the
widely predicted pacesetter Amazing Strike out to ensure an honest
gallop, ahead of Undercover Agent, Soqrat and Snowdance, with Legal
Eagle and Infamous Fox stalking the second group.
At the 400m, Do It Again still only had two behind him as Amazing
Strike had cried enough and the cavalry charge fanned out in the gallop
Randall Simons slipped Soqrat, positioned at one off the rail, into a
narrow lead as Richard Fourie set Do It Again alight, with Legal Eagle
grinding away down the middle.
The race developed into a match between Do It Again and Soqrat, and
after being straightened out confidently by Fourie, it was the 4-year-old who
asserted his authority to win with something in hand by 0.30 lengths in a
time of 97.29 seconds.
Soqrat, bidding to become only the second 3-year-old to win the race in 45
years, put in a gallant effort and Mike de Kock has an exciting prospect
on his hands as the son of Epaulette ran the race of his life.
Rainbow Bridge got the pace today but was running on when it was all over and was beaten 2.75 lengths further back in third.
The reigning champion Legal Eagle was in touch all the way but had
nothing to offer when called upon and shaded Undercover Agent out of
fourth. He should not be written off and could well bounce back in the
Snowdance is another who had every opportunity but was well beaten
into sixth, with the slow starting Hat Puntano, Infamous Fox and Amazing
Strike in another race.
After 12 years riding in the Cape, the top-class Richard Fourie
celebrated his first success in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, and marked
a great day with a Grade 1 double included in his three winners.
“I can’t see them beating this horse in the Met,” he added.
After a dismal Friday, a hoarse Justin Snaith was beaming from ear to ear after finding his best form, including a Grade 1 double.
“He looks like a superstar - he was spot on today - he had come on
nicely from the Green Point. But that’s easy to say. They still have to
win. To all my owners and my team - thanks and congratulations,” he
A winner of 5 races with 4 places from 10 starts for stakes of
R4 285 000, Do It Again was purchased by leading stallion manager John
Freeman for R1.1 million at the 2016 National Yearling Sale.
Bred by Northfields, Do It Again is a first crop son of Twice Over
(Observatory), the first sire in the modern era to get a 3-year-old winner of
the Durban July.
He is out of the six-time winning Sweet Virginia (Casey Tibbs).