History was created at Cape Town’ Kenilworth racecourse on Saturday when three-year-old filly Oh Susanna (AUS) became the first filly to win the R5m, Grade 1 WFA Sun Met (2000m) since Black Bess in 1905.
The win by Oh Susanna, a home-bred by Gaynor Rupert, was also the first Met victory for trainer Justin Snaith and his father Chris in more than 30 years of trying.
The Street Cry filly was settled just behind the leaders by 26-year-old jockey Grant Van Niekerk and they were well placed in 6th, one off the rails, at the 800m mark. Van Nierkerk followed the favourite Legal Eagle and at the 350m he shifted Oh Susanna to clear running room in the centre of the track.
The filly, with 51.5kg under the weight-for-age conditions, lengthened well from the 200m and with 100m to run she was leading. Van Nierkerk was soon celebrating the historic half-length win.
Last Winter (SAF) (Western Winter) with 59kg under Piere Strydom was second, Marinaresco (SAF) (Silvano) with 60kg under Aldo Domeyer was third with the margin 1 1/4L. Legal Eagle was fourth.
As previously recorded the win by Oh Susanna holds strong Asian Racing Federation connections with the three-year-old daughter of Street Cry out of the Touch Gold mare Sharp Susan having the AUS suffix to her name.
Sharp Susan, who raced for her breeder WinStar Farm, EAH Stables and Pegasus Holdings Group Stables in the States, was purchased in foal to Street Cry for A$1,050,000, by Mrs Rupert at the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale in 2014. The mare lost that foal and Mrs Rupert was offered a replacement service to Street Cry with the result the now duel Grade 1 winner Oh Susanna.
The meeting also provided Snaith, Van Nierkerk and Mrs Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud, along with co-owner WJC Mitchell, with a unique double when they took out the R1m, Grade 1 WFA Majorca Stakes (1600m) with Snowdance (SAF) (Captain Al). For Snaith it was a further triumph to train the quinella in the race with Star Express (SAF) (Silvano) second under Callan Murray.
Snaith completed a treble at the elite level when Sergeant Hardy (AUS) (Captain Al) and Bernard Fayd’Herbe’s won in the R1m, Grade WFA Cape Flying Championship (1000m) by a clear 1 1/4L.
The Kenilworth meeting was the finale for the Cape Summer Season after a month of high class racing that included two of South Africa’s Grace 1 races that were included in the 2017 LONGINES World’s Top 100 Group/Grade 1 Races, the Sun Met and L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.