“A good colt will always beat a good filly” is a racing myth that has been debunked so many times one wonders where it actually originated.
In recent years three-year-old Igugu won the Durban July, four-year-old Smart Call won the Sun Met and last January another three-year-old Oh Susanna became the first of her age to win the Met in over 100 years when she defeated the best colts and geldings in the land. Not forgetting, too, that the Australian wonder mare, Winx, is presently the world’s highest rated racehorse.
Oh Susanna’s stable companion, Snowdance, is considered to be even better than the Met winner. When they crossed swords in the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas, Snowdance had her measure by a full three lengths.
This is the kind of performance that makes Snowdance hard to beat on paper in today’s Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m at Greyville, especially since Oh Susanna franked their form again with a win in last weekend’s Gr1 Woolavington Stakes.
Justin Snaith, who trains Snowdance, said that she had to “burn off some energy” in a Gr2 feature against fillies a month ago and that she wasn’t at her peak in preparation for the Gold Challenge. She ran a big race all the same, just touched off by Fiorella, which led the trainer to reflect: “Snowdance didn’t take well to being under the lights for the first time, it freaked her out a bit especially in the parade ring. The colts had better watch out next time!”
The “second-run-after-a-layoff” theory also comes into play – this is proven to have more credence, but leading trainers seem to believe it doesn’t affect “good horses” – so only time will tell.
The connections of Snowdance can expect stiff opposition from the relentless galloper Captain America, who won the Gold Challenge last year when he made the pace and kept running well. Since Snowdance also likes to race handy, an interesting contest looms as they may take each other on from the word go. The worry is that they may gallop each other silly, leaving the door open to a late challenge, in which case Trip To Heaven may race through to land the spoils, while Gold Standard, often just off the pace, comes into the picture too.
There are five other features on the Greyville programme, including the Gr3 Cup Trial in which Durban July hopefuls African Night Sky and Platinum Prince will have their final warm-up runs.
Photo: Snowdance, by Wayne Marks.