Snaith in front again
JUSTIN Snaith finished second on the national trainer’s log for the second year in succession in the season just passed and will be crowned Western Cape Champion trainer for the fifth time in succession.
Snaith, who was national champion trainer in 2013/2014, also finished highest in the standings for stakes earned in the Western Cape and this was the third time he had achieved this feat.
However, the big race limelight among Western Cape trainers was stolen by Brett Crawford, who won six Grade 1 races and finished third on the National Trainers log.
In the August of 2009 Crawford left Plattner Racing to go on his own and in his first full season thereafter, in the 2010/2011 season, he finished 58th on the National log.
His prowess as a trainer is highlighted by his rapid climb to the top of the tree.
Candice Bass-Robinson finished in fourth place on the National Trainers log in her first season as a licensed trainer following the retirement of her legendary father Mike.
She also became the first lady trainer in history to win the country’s premier race, the Vodacom Durban July.
Vaughan Marshall, Glen Kotzen and Joey Ramsden were the other three Western Cape trainers to finish in the top ten in the National Trainers Championships.
Snaith became the third trainer in SA history, after Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry, to break through the R20 million mark for stakes earnings in a season.
His star performer was the brilliant grey filly Bela-Bela, who won two Grade 1 events, the Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1 800m at Kenilworth and the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes at Greyville.
In The latter race she proved a mile was her best trip and produced the female performance of the season, annihilating a top class field.
She also finished third in the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1 600m and fourth in her swansong in the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1 800m.
Snaith, who has a satellite yard in Port Elizabeth in addition to his chief operation, a private establishment at Phillippi in Cape Town, also won three Grade 2s, seven Grade 3s, nine Listed races and five Non-Black Type events.
Crawford was R1,619,750 behind Snaith on the national log but in earnings in Western Cape races was only R369,963 behind him.
He was only one behind national champion trainer Sean Tarry in the Grade 1 count, but he led the way together with Mike de Kock in the number of individual Grade 1 winners with five.
He won the Grade 1 Met, sponsored now by Sun, for the third time in his career and this time it was with Whisky Baron.
The latter was gelded at the end of last season and won all five of his races this term, which also included a Grade 2.
He departed for an overseas campaign after the Met.
Crawford’s only dual Grade 1 winner was Edict Of Nantes, who won the Investec Cape Derby and the Daily News 2000. His other Grade 1 winners were Captain America (Rising Sun Gold Challenge), Lady Of The House (Woolavington 2000) and Sail South (Champions Cup). Crawford also won three Grade 2s, three Grade 3s, three Listed races and both of his Non-Black Type victories were in R1 million events.
Bass Robinson won the July with Marinaresco and this classy and courageous little horse also won the Grade 2 IOS Drill Hall Stakes over 1 400m.
Bass-Robinson also won the Grade 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes with Nightingale, who went on to finish tie-fourth in the July.
She won two other Grade 2s, two Grade 3s and eight Listed races. One of her season’s highlights was winning the Non-Black Type $500,000 CTS Sprint with the classy sprinting filly Live Life.
Vaughan Marshall finished seventh on the National Trainers log with stakes earnings of over R10 million.
He was trainer of the highest earning horse of the season, the brilliant three-year-old William Longsword, whose five victories included the Grade 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas and the Non-Black Type US$500,000 CTS Mile.
William Longsword accumulated R4.065,000 in the season and was retired mid-season as a six-time winner in order to succeed his late great father Captain Al at stud.
Marshall also won two Grade 3s and two Listed races and one other Non-Black Type event.
Glen Kotzen, who finished ninth on the National log, ended the season with a bang by landing the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes over 1 600m at Greyville with the exciting colt Eyes Wide Open.
He scored a four-timer that day and this included a Grade 3.
However, his best horse was undoubtedly the three-year-old Gold Standard, who won the Listed RA Stakes in PE and the Grade 2 Selangor Cup, before finishing a narrow second in the Cape Guineas, which was dominated by himself and William Longsword.
Gold Standard then finished a fine fourth in an ultra-strong Sun Met.
Unfortunately, he was laid off for the rest of the season. Kotzen had two other Grade 3 wins, one other Listed race victory and one other Non-Black Type win.
Joey Ramsden finished in tenth place on the national log.
His best horse was the three-year-old filly Just Sensual, who won the Grade 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas, the Grade 3 Prix du Cap and the Grade 2 Tibouchina.
She also finished second in the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint. Ramsden won one other Grade 3 and five Listed races.
Dean Kannemeyer, who also had a satellite yard at Summerveld, finished 19th on the national log and won one Grade 3 , two Listed races and one NonBlack Type event.
Andre Nel finished in twentieth position on the national log in his first full season as Sabine Plattner’s private trainer. He won one Grade 3 race. Mike Robinson and Adam Marcus both won one Grade 3 race each.
Other Western Cape trainer achievements included a Listed victory for Eric Sands.