WHEN Justin Snaith noted earlier this week that Do It Again was “as well as he’s ever been”, bookmakers shortened his odds from 5’s and 9-2 into 4-1, remembering Snaith’s quote in the week of the 2017 Durban July that the horse had worked like a machine and had reached his peak.
There was always going to be reservations about his effectiveness over a mile – he was considered more of a stayer during the last Champions Season – but the son of Klawervlei Stud’s Twice Over proved his exceptional class and did it again, perfectly tuned for what was billed by some, the ‘race of the millennium’.
Do It Again, travelling well on a steady pace set by Amazing Strike, turned for home six lengths adrift and travelling easy as the race was about to change shape three times.
First, Undercover Agent raced past Amazing Strike and skipped into the lead, two lengths clear of Soqrat and racing near the rail with Snowdance in pursuit and Legal Eagle, Rainbow Bridge and Do It Again all improving their positions in the middle of the track.
The second change came with just 200m to run when three-year-old Soqrat reeled in Undercover Agent and looked the likely winner in the drive to the line, but Do It Again was finishing like a steam train under Richard Fourie. He drew alongside Soqrat with 50m to go and then powered on by, winning by 0.30-lengths.
Rainbow Bridge stayed on best of the rest for third, beaten a further three lengths, while Legal Eagle was flatfooted in fourth, four lengths off the winner.
Fourie, chuffed with winning his first Queen’s Plate, said: “I’ve been in Cape Town for 12 years waiting for this race and this is a real good feeling. Do It Again has so much potential, he is getting stronger and better. He is no slouch. He was waiting to be asked, then gave me one big rush and won. He will take power of beating in the Met. I’m looking forward to it!”
Bernard Kantor, who owns Do It Again along with Nic Jonsson and Jack Mitchell, said that winning the Queen’s Plate was a lifelong dream. “I’ve waited 30 years for this,” said an elated Kantor, who was instrumental in bringing Twice Over to South Africa.
Justin Snaith, who surprisingly went home without a winner on the first day of festival but bounced right back with three Graded wins in a row, praised his team for their hard work in the festive period – they once again delivered the goods on a major race day.
“Look at him, look at Do It Again. He looks like a superstar. His prep was spot on,” said the ruling champion trainer.
Do It Again was bred by Robin Bruss (Northfields Stud) and raised at Drakenstein Stud. He has won five of 10 starts and has banked R4,84-million for his connections.
Photos by Wayne Marks.