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Justin Snaith is fiercely competitive, and he spoke recently about the need to maintain an edge in the training game. Complacency and resting on one’s laurels does not work in such a tough field of endeavour where marginal gains can make all the difference between lean pickings and a bountiful haul of winners.

Whilst conceding the difficulty of working horses properly during the recent late Winter deluges, there was a spell of 30 entries that yielded a solitary winner for Snaith. But that all changed on a sunny Tuesday when the yard slammed in five winners at Hollywoodbets Durbanville.

William West, Vix Princess, Master of Paris, Liketheclappers and, most impressively of all, Double Grand Slam got the job done, as stable representative, Jono Snaith repeatedly beat a path to the studio marquee for post-race, winners’ interviews.

William West, who had finished close a few times in sprints, toppled odds-on favourite Star Performer in the opener to get the Snaith juggernaut rolling. He was backed from 9/2 into 33/10. Then, Vix Princess raced handy under Grant van Niekerk to repel all challengers. She’d looked slightly vulnerable midway down the straight but ended up winning comfortably enough by 1.5 lengths over Essential.

Whilst, Vix Princess was always prominent on bookies boards (starting price of 3/1) Master of Paris registered a 66/1 boil over in the first Leg of the P6. The Master of My Fate gelding had shown little in three starts but Snaith maintained the faith and felt that he was way better than the bare form shown to date.

The addition of blinkers and a pull at the weights in a weak field saw him come to light dramatically. Muzi Yeni was on board. Snaith completed a high-paying exacta here with Etoilefillante, who he suspected might be able to run into the money.

Liketheclappers has been beset by breathing issues, but Justin and father, Chris are consummate horseman who know from decades of experience how best to deal with these sorts of problems, and they’ve now got the Pomodoro gelding back to winning ways.

Snaith had him beautifully turned out and primed for this race – though it was a tight run thing with challengers swooping from both sides. But go-to-stable jockey, Grant van Niekerk (riding with flair and aplomb again) fought off the cavalry to secure a second career win for Liketheclappers.

Double Grand Slam won at her second start at the course back in March and was staging a comeback six months later in a Class 4 over 1400m. She duly dominated from the front to win in some style – van Niekerk again doing the steering on this progressive Vercingetorix filly, who Snaith astutely rated as one of his best chances on the day and good wagering value at 5/1.

“What a difference a day makes,” as the saying goes. Heading into Tuesday’s meet, Snaith seemed mired in a mini slump. Yet he has bounced back in emphatic fashion, as solution- driven competitors tend to do.

With races upcoming on Saturday and Monday at the Northern suburbs course, punters will again be upgrading Snaith runners for serious consideration. Normal service at Snaith Racing has swiftly been resumed…

– Mark van Deventer
#CapeRacing #HollywoodbetsSpringCountrySeries
📸 Chase Liebenberg