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Picture: Speed Machine (Credit: Chase Liebenberg)

Turf Talk

Jonathan Snaith hinted that the 106-rated six-year-old Legislate gelding Speed Machine has been entered in the L’Ormarins King’s Plate to ensure a good pace.

Speed Machine is one of five runners trained by Justin Snaith and is one of four runners owned by Durban businessman Nick Jonsson.

Jonathan said, “Speed Machine will set good fractions so it will be a solid pace which will produce a true run mile which normally results in a fair race for all participants. A Gr 1 could produce an upside down result if we adhere to the classic Cape Crawl, there is nothing worse than watching a canter then sprint show. What invariably happens when there is no pace – certain favourites can fight their riders and run poorly which is disappointing for punters and their owners.”

He added, “Looking at the field there will be plenty of pace with Montien also looking to set a good, solid tempo.”

Jonathan is realistic about the Snaith yard’s chances.

Their runners are this year’s Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas first and third finishers, Snow Pilot (Lancaster Bonmber) and Hluhluwe (Trippi), 2021 Cape Guineas winner Double Superlative, Gold Rush winner Royal Aussie and Speed Machine.

Nick Jonsson owns Hluhluwe, Double Superlative and Speed Machine and also the odds-on 9/10 favourite, the Michael Roberts-trained See It Again.

Jonathan said, “We are swimming upstream!. See It Again and Charles Dickens are the two highest rated horses in SA so on weight for age terms they’ll be hard nuts to crack.”

However, he still has hope and added, “It is no secret Red Palace is strongly fancied to win the Gr 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes (which takes place one race before the LKP) and if she does it will produce an excellent formline for the three-year-olds in the King’s Plate (she finished a narrow second to Snow Pilot in the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas).”

Jonathan concluded, “You normally need an exceptional three-year-old to beat the older horses on weight for age terms at this time of the year, as you saw with Jet Dark. He went on to become a Champion. I know Justin feels there is nothing between his two younger horses, Snow Pilot and Hluhluwe.”