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Snow Pilot being led in after his Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas win (Picture: Wayne Marks) 

Turf Talk

The L’Ormarins King’s Plate first entries are on Wednesday this week but the Justin Snaith yard confirmed on Tuesday they would have five entries, including Saturday’s Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas first and third finishers, Snow Pilot (Lancaster Bomber) and Hluhluwe (Trippi), and the yard’s 2021 cape Guineas winner Double Superlative (Twice Over).

The other two they are entering are Royal Aussie (Royal Mo) and Speed Machine (Legislate).

JP van der Merwe and Grant van Niekerk will stay aboard Snow Pilot and Hluhluwe respectively.

Homebred Snow Pilot will add to the strong hand Drakenstein Stud will have in the race they sponsor, because of course one of the favourites will be last season’s Cape Guineas winner and LKP runner up, the Candice Bass-Robinson-trained Drakenstein homebred Charles Dickens.

Drakenstein have won the prestigious weight for age mile with a horse they have bred, Jet Dark, who won it twice running in the colours of Nick Jonsson (who owned the horse in partnership with Tommy Crowe).

However, Drakenstein have never won the LKP with a horse they have owned.

Charles Dickens and Snow Pilot will give them a double chance this year.

It remains to be seen if they will have other homebreds in the line up.

Their Gr 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas-winning homebred Beach Bomb will probably go for the Gr 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes. Another Gr 1-winning homebred of theirs, Trip Of Fortune, is on two month epistaxis suspension. Their Hollywoodbets Durban July-winning homebred hero Winchester Mansion was last seen disappointing in the Betway Summer Cup and might find the LKP too sharp, although if he is going for the WSB Met it might be an option.

The Michael Roberts-trained See It Again, whom they bred, will be in the line up representing Nick Jonsson as will Hluhluwe and Double Superlative.

Jonathan Snaith spoke about Snow Pilot’s win on Saturday.

He said, “It was a fair run race. Their were few with hard luck stories, which is what you wish for in a Group One race. The pace was a fair tempo, it coud have been faster, but it was not slow. Hluhluwe was a little too far back and battled to quicken. He is a serious Cape Derby contender on paper.”

Jonathan added, “To win with Snowdance (the Gr 1 Cape Fillies Guineas in 2017) was surreal but to win with her son, Snow Pilot, was even more incredible. To have Nancy Hossack (Mitchell) in the winners box sharing the experience with us was super special. It truly was a family affair in many respects.”
Snowdance (Captain Al) is the dam of Snow Pilot. Nancy Cossack is the daughter of the late great owner Jack Mitchell, in whose familar white colours with black spots Snowdance raced. The colors are now registered in Nancy’s name.
Justin Snaith has an outstanding record in the cape Fillies Guineas, which he has won six times, and Snow Pilot was his third Cape Guineas win.
The montage below shows Snowdance’s win in the 2017 Gr 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas, and being ledin by Jack Mitchell and daughter Nancy Cossack, and Snowdance’s son Snow Pilot’s win in the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas on Saturday.
Jonathan continued, “Drakenstein Stud deserve a special mention for their sensational Guineas Double with two homebreds, Beach Bomb winning the fillies equivalent two weeks earlier. No stallion has ever done the Guineas double with their fist crop – a historic win for Drakenstein Stud and Lancaster Bomber.”

He added, “Snow Pilot looks a serious stallion prospect with his impressive pedigree and excellent conformation.”

Jonathan concluded, “Snow Pilot will run in the L’Ormarins Kings Plate then have a nice holiday before heading to KZN.”