Saturday’s G1 Greyville 2000 (2000m) is an open affair. The two horses who stand out are Do It Again and Surcharge; choosing between the two is not easy but the verdict narrowly goes to Do It Again, because he has raced, and won, at Greyville.
Trained by Justin Snaith, who is on course to win his second Champion Trainer title, Do It Again pulled off a minor surprise when winning the G2 Daisy Guineas over 1600m at the course last time out.
It was considered to be a “surprise” not because he lacked the ability, but rather because he was having his first run in more than three months and many pundits felt it would be too short for him. There is no doubt he will improve over this distance and will also be helped by jumping from the inside draw. In addition, he has a top jockey aboard in Bernard Fayd’Herbe and he appears one of the four best-handicapped runners.
“He couldn’t be better and will love the trip,” said Jonathan Snaith, assistant trainer to his brother, Justin. “We expect a huge run in a competitive looking race.”
Surcharge has run 10 times for five wins and four seconds. Three of those runner-up finishes came in the SA Triple Crown races where he finished second in the G2 Gauteng Guineas over 1600m, the G1 SA Classic over 1800m and the G1 SA Derby over 2450m. It was unfortunate for the Stuart Pettigrew-trained runner that he landed wide draws in all three races but on this occasion he finally landed a decent barrier position and will jump from draw five.
He does not have the greatest gate speed and that often lands him too far back. However, with a decent draw this time, his jockey should be able to get him well positioned and that will help his chances.
Looking past those two, Glen Kotzen’s Pack Leader will be looking for a forward run in the race. He is held by Do It Again on their run in the G1 Cape Derby (2000m) in January.
Another to consider is White River. He has run some excellent races but is another whose best runs are proving hard to predict. He finished a two and three-quarter length fourth in the G2 Daisy Guineas behind Do It Again.
Trainer Brett Crawford, however, remains optimistic. “White River is doing well. He has had a good preparation and we are very happy with him,” he said.
By way of contrast, the G1 Woolavington 2000 over 2000m appears to be at the mercy of Oh Susanna. “She is doing amazingly well at home,” said trainer Justin Snaith, although he does have one reservation as the Australian-bred daughter of Street Cry has not raced since winning The Met (G1 2000m) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town on 27 January.
“Going straight into a 2000m G1 race after a long rest won’t be as easy as people may think,” pointed out Snaith.
While she is going to be hard to beat, the main dangers may be Sean Tarry-trained Chariot Of Gold, G2 Daisy Fillies Guineas winner Fiorella and Lady In Black, who might battle to stay 2000m in this class of company.