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Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas winner Snow Pilot has his Champions Season pipe opener in the Gr 3 Byerley Turk (Picture: Wayne Marks)

Justin Snaith’s Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas winner Snow Pilot appears in Sunday’s Gr 3 Byerley Turk over 1400m at Hollywoodbets Greyville and will take on the Mike de Kock-trained Gimmeanotherchance, who is just off the best in Johannesburg, as well as the Sean Tarry-trained The Africa House, who is also just off the best on the Highveld and the ideally distance suited Red Bomber from the Johan Janse van Vuuren yard. Tarry has also entered the promising Mid Winter Wind, who has won his last three from 1200m to 1400m in impressive style. The local threat to Snow Pilot will come from the Frank Robinson-trained Sovereign State, who was unbeaten in three starts in KZN before running twice against the best on the Highveld and not earning a cheque. The Mike Miller-trained Winter Games will have to bounce back from a disappointing run last time. Snow Pilot is not the only Cape Town horse in the race as Snaith also sends out the hard-knocking Querari colt Underworld, who looks ideally distance suited and is drawn in p0le, so he could upset the applecart.

Andrew Harrison of Gold Circle wrote the below preview:

The official start of Champions Season is still a month away but trainers are already starting to warm up their big guns. The Gr3 Byerley Turk and the Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes to be run at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday are traditional warm-ups for three-year-olds and both races have attracted small but classy fields.

Justin Snaith fires the first salvos of the expected Champion Season raiders as he saddles Underworld and Gr1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas winner Snow Pilot who line up in the Byerley Turk.

Snow Pilot is the highest rated runner in the race but given the conditions he has to give 6kg to all of his rivals who are bracketed on 54kg. However, although Snow Pilot has garnered a rating of 116 and giving weight to all his rivals, he still looks well in with all but Gimmeanotherchance. Mike de Kock appears to have picked the right race for his charge who is rated 111 and who, on paper at least, looks well in.

The race should also give some indication as to where the Cape three-year-old form stands in relation to their Highveld counterparts. Snow Pilot was far from disgraced in the Gr1 L’Ormarins Kings Plate where he also found some significant market support in the face of rivals Charles Dickens and See It Again.

Gimmeanotherchance on the other hand has shown steady form behind the top Highveld sophomores, Main Defender, Sandringham Summit and Purple Pitcher without threatening either of the trio so this makes for an interesting contest.

Underworld gives Snaith a second string to his bow. He was a close-up second to older horses at his last two outings and from the best of the draw he could upset the two more fancied runners.

Red Bomber, Mid Winter Wind and Sovereign State are there to keep them honest.

Snaith could get his feature race campaign off to a winning start when he sends out Double Grand Slam in the Umzimkhulu Stakes. She gave notice of her ability when finishing third behind Princess Calla in the Majorca Stakes when stepped up to a mile for the first time and following up with a facile victory in the Vasco Prix du Cap over the Hollywoodbets Kenilworth 1400m where she came in for a ton of market support.

In the absence of a suspended Grant van Niekerk, Richard Fourie picks up the ride.

A big danger is Glen Kotzen’s filly Rascova. She finished ahead of Double Grand Slam in the Majorca Stakes where she had the worst of the draw and although soundly beaten next time out in the Vasco Pix du Cap she was giving her rival 2kg for a three-length beating.

These two look to dominate and the race could turn into a tactical battle between Fourie and Craig Zackey.