L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Cape Town

Snaith and Fourie Grade 1 double at Kenilworth for G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Cartier Paddock Stakes

Do It Again (SAF) confirmed his 2018 Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July victory was no flash in the pan with victory in the iconic R1.5 million, Grade 1 WFA L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (1600m) at Kenilworth, Cape Town, on Saturday, January 5th.

The 2019 renewal of the race had been billed as the race of the year, with dual Horse of the Year Legal Eagle (SAF) attempting to win the race for the fourth time, thus tying with the record set by Pocket Power (SAF) in 2010.

Out to prevent that dream was Do It Again, Grade 1 winner Undercover Agent(SAF) and star newcomer Rainbow Bridge (SAF).

When all four recently met in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth, Legal Eagle prevailed by a nose with 0.15 lengths covering the four. Joining the mix was Mike de Kock’s three-year-old colt Soqrat (AUS), winner of the Grade 1 Cape Guineas on December 15th.

After seeing Rainbow Bridge suffer under the false pace in the Green Point Stakes, trainer Eric Sands entered a pacemaker for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate in the form of the seven-year-old Amazing Strike. And as expected Amazing Strike set off at a blistering pace down the 1600m of the summer course. Rainbow Bridge sat comfortably in the pack, just in front of Do It Again and Legal Eagle, while Undercover Agent and Soqrat chased after the leader.

Entering the home straight Undercover Agent appeared to be going the best and briefly held the lead once Amazing Strike threw in the towel. His lead was, however, short lived as Soqrat stormed up to take charge.

Legal Eagle sparked briefly, but it was Do It Again, demonstrating his serious turn of foot, who flew up to take up the duel with Soqrat. Do It Again was not to be defeated and crossed the line in front with a neck separating the two.

Rainbow Bridge finished 2.75 lengths back in third, with Legal Eagle in fourth a further length back. The winning time was 97.29 seconds.

Do It Again now heads for the Grade 1 Sun Met (2000m) at Kenilworth on January 26th and according to trainer Justin Snaith, “He will be a hard horse to beat”.

By Twice Over (GB) out of the Casey Tibbs mare Sweet Virginia, Do It Again recorded his fifth victory and his second Grade 1 victory in ten starts, taking his earnings to R4,285,000 for owners Nick Jonsson, Bernard Kantor and Jack Mitchell. The victory earned Do It Again a starting spot in the G1 Breeders Cup Mile through the "Win and You're In" series.

For Snaith and stable jockey Richard Fourie the day started in a not so memorable fashion, as a stumble by Bunker Hunt in the first feature of the day, the Grade 3 Politician Stakes, sent Fourie head first into the turf. Some tense moments followed, but thankfully Fourie was unhurt and managed to steer not only Do It Again to victory in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, but the talented jockey also rode reigning Horse of the Year, Oh Susanna (AUS) to consecutive victories in the second Grade 1 of the day, the R1 million WFA Cartier Paddock Stakes (1800m).

Fourie sent Oh Susanna forward from the barrier and once in the lead he controlled the pace superbly. Coming into the home straight, an old foe, the Dennis Drier trained Lady In Black under Sean Veale threatened briefly, but Fourie just clicked his mare up a gear and Oh Susanna won comfortably by half a length from a gallant Lady In Black.

The Mike de Kock trained Cascapedia (IRE) and Gavin Lerena finished the best of the rest, a distant 3.5 lengths back, relegating Fresnaye and Bernard Fayd’Herbe into fourth by a nose. The winning time was 110.88 seconds.

Owner-breeder, Mrs Rupert, who is also the sponsor of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival, was on hand to lead Oh Susanna in after the mare’s fourth Grade 1 victory in as many starts.

Oh Susanna, by Street Cry (USA) out of the Touch Gold mare Sharp Susan (USA) has now won four of her five starts for earnings of R5,047,375. The victory also earned her a start in the Maker's Mark Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) as the first race in the international Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" series.

The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival commences a month of summer racing in Cape Town which combines with the annual Cape Thoroughbred Sales Cape Premier Yearling Sale on January 23rd. The January season culminates with the Sun Met raceday on January 26th.

Do It Again and Soqrat battle to the line, picture Liesl King
Do It Again and Soqrat battle to the line, picture Liesl King
Oh Susanna and jockey Richard Fourie, picture Liesl King
Oh Susanna and jockey Richard Fourie, picture Liesl King