It is the stuff of fairytales as Nick Jonsson leads in See It Again in the company of two legends, Piere Strydom in the saddle and Hall Of Famer Michael Roberts alongside. (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
See It Again landed Nick Jonsson the 13th Gr 1 win of his ownership career when winning Saturday’s Daily News 2000 at Hollywoodbets Greyville and the horse clinched a Gr 1 double on the day for breeders Drakenstein Stud.
Jonsson has had his own colours since 1990, but his Gr 1 wins have all come in the last five years, so to call his rise to a top echelon owner meteoric would be an understatement.
That sort of success rate is unusual even for big spenders, but it is no fluke as he is a fine horseman in his own right.
His current stars will likely be replaced by new stars, one of whom could well be Rapidash, a Danon Platina colt who won the first race over 1200m on Saturday in impressive fashion.
This colt has plenty of substance, but appeared beaten going through the 200m mark. However, the penny dropped late and he powered home to an eyecatching win under Richard Fourie.
Jonsson said afterwards it was plain to see he would get much better than that run as he had been green and looking around in the straight.
He said he had liked everything about this colt at the sale, including the pedigree and admitted to having bought a number of Danon Platinas.
This sire’s standing is increasing rapidly and he has already had eleven individual winners.
This does not surprise Jonsson, who said he had not been in the slightest bit worried about his slow start
He said, “The first three months of a sire’s career is meaningless. I have a July winner and the July favourite and they both only started racing as late two-year-olds. The best horses only start racing at around that time.”
Jonsson played a part in Drakenstein being the breeders of See It Again.
He received a phone call a few years ago from a breeder informing him that their Visionaire mare Supreme Vision, a twice-winning half-sister to Jonsson’s dual July-winning Twice Over gelding Do It Again, was in foal to Twice Over. The resultant foal would therefore be a three-parts brother to Do It Again and would he be interested in buying the mare.
Hall Of Fame jockey Roberts will be out to join a small band of elite, that includes Syd Garrett, David Payne and Bert Abercrombie, who have won the July both as jockey and trainer and partnering him in the bid will be another legend in Piere Strydom, who will be out to score a record-equalling fifth July as well as becoming the oldest, at age 56, to ride a winner.
It is well documented how Strydom made a comeback last year after an eye retina problem in order to just accumulate eleven more winners to reach a career 5,500 tally.
He reached that figure but big rides came along, causing him to delay retirement.
However, nobody could have foretold he would be in this position.
At present See It Again is outdoing Do It Again as he will go into the July on the back of victory in the Gr 1 Splashout Cape Derby, second place in the Gr 2 WSB Guineas and victory in Saturday’s Gr 1 Daily News 2000.
However, when it was suggested to Jonsson he might be even better than Do It Again he replied, “Do It Again is the best horse I have ever owned … I will never own a horse as good as him.”
See It Again put to bed Strydom’s fears that he was not suited to Hollywoodbet Greyville due to his habit of starting slowly and what he had previously believed to be a tendency to take a while to get going in the straight.
He said he had niggled at him down the back straight when he feared he might be too far back and the response had been instantaneous, so he knew the machine was fine tuned on this occasion.
In the running See It Again was stuck behind Without Question, who is also owned by Jonsson, and the latter was detached from the front few.
However, Strydom need not have been anxious because See It Again showed a fine turn of foot to overtake Without Question and it was soon apparent he would catch the pacemaker Dave The King.
The latter rolled on well but was a touch one-paced and See It Again had fetched him by the 100m mark.
He won easing up by 0,70 lengths.
Without Question stayed on well to be beaten two lengths.
Cousin Casey was beaten 2,30 lengths and was a touch disappointing as his turn of foot does not appear to be as devastating as it was as a two-year-old, although the opposition is of course a lot stronger. He did take a bump from Without Question too, which caused the stipendiary stewards to object on his behalf.
Shoemaker ran on to be beaten 3,70 lengths but looks unlikely to make the July final field.
See It Again is unlikely to be raised from his 124 merit rating and Dave The King should remain on 122, but Without Question might get a point raise from 119 to 120.
As things stand See It Again will be well in in the July weights.
With Do It Again and Safe Passage joint-highest rated on 124, See It Again would carry 58kg in a true handicap as things stand, but he will come down 1kg to the maximum weight for a three-year-old of 57kg, so will carry the same weight as Dave The King and Cousin Casey, while Without Question will carry 56kg (if he does get raised to 120).