Superstar mares Winx, Zenyatta and South Africa's Oh Susanna share more than just a sire, Street Cry. They all have a proven ability to succeed in major G1 races – even against male competitors. This weekend, Oh Susanna is looking to rival those daughters of Street Cry performances by becoming the first mare to achieve back-to-back wins in the G1 Sun Met, South Africa's richest race.
She will be looking to defeat an all-male field and, in particular, race favorite and stablemate Do It Again. He's trying to keep his momentum after winning the recent G1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate, a Breeders' Cup 'Win And You're In' for the 2019 Mile, and make history of his own by winning a Durban-Queen's Plate-Sun Met treble.
Oh Susanna & the 2019 Sun Met
Oh Susanna and Do It Again will be squaring off in the 157th running of the G1 Sun Met at Cape Town's Kenilworth Racecourse at 5:10 p.m. local time this Saturday, Jan. 26th (11.10 a.m. EST or 8.10 a.m. PST). Boasting a purse of 5 million ZAR ($3.6 million), the 2000m (10 furlongs) race is scheduled at a perfect time for US race fans to enjoy.
American and international audiences will be eager to see whether Oh Susanna lives up to the reputation of Winx and Zenyatta. Australia's Winx has won her last 29 starts, including an unprecedented four back-to-back wins in the G1 Cox Plate, and has been crowned 'Horse of the Year' in Australia three times.
Zenyatta went undefeated in 19 of 20 races. Inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame in 2016, she is still the only mare to ever win the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Oh Susanna earned the right to be mentioned alongside Zenyatta and Winx after her Sun Met win last year, when she went down in modern racing history as the first filly to win the race since Maid of Honour back in 1888. Oh Susanna upstaged prominent South African seniors, including Marinaresco and dual South African 'Horse of the Year' and race favorite Legal Eagle. The big question this year is whether Oh Susanna can become the first-ever mare to achieve back-to-back wins in the Met.
To her credit, she's recently proven she can achieve back-to-back wins in a major G1 race. On Jan. 5th, Oh Susanna once again saw off Lady in Black in the G1 Cartier Paddock Stakes, a Breeders' Cup 'Win And You're In' for the 2019 Maker's Mark Filly & Mare Turf.
Trained by Justin Snaith, who won his second South African 'Champion Trainer' title in August, and ridden by Bernard Fayd'herbe, who guided Pocket Power to his fourth Queen's Plate win in 2010, Oh Susanna has 4/1 odds to make Sun Met history. To do that, she'll need to overcome the challenge of 5/4 race favorite Do It Again, another Snaith charge.
Do It Again & Other Contenders
By winning the G1 Queen's Plate at Kenilworth Jan. 5th, the 5-year-old Do It Again's strong form continued and earned him a merit-rating of 125 by handicappers, making him the highest-rated horse in the country. It capped a convincing G1 Durban July victory last year and puts him on target to achieve an unprecedented Durban-Queen's Plate-Sun Met triple win.
In the barrier draws, Do It Again has landed starting gate 7, while Oh Susanna was placed in gate 5.
“I'm over the moon about Do It Again's draw,” says Snaith. “I didn't want him to be too much towards the inside. I don't want him to be too involved in the fight for position early on.”
He adds, “I'm also very happy for Oh Susanna, as Bernard [Fayd'herbe] can place her wherever she wants to be.”
Snaith has a strong hand in the Met as he is also fielding Made To Conquer (14/1 odds), ridden by S'manga Khumalo, and Doublemint (11/1), who has been partnered with the 2003 Sun Met-winning jockey Piere Strydom. Made to Conquer and Doublemint landed comfortably in the draws at gates 4 and 3 respectively.
Four-time South African champion jockey, Anton Marcus, will mount Rainbow Bridge. His ride, listed at 7/2 odds, poses a strong challenge to both Do It Again and Oh Susanna after he achieved a four-race unbeaten run in 2018 before suffering defeat to Legal Eagle in the G2 Green Point Stakes. He only finishing fourth to Do It Again in the 2019 Queen's Plate.
Undefeated over a mile in his entire career, the Sean Tarry-trained Legal Eagle had his sights set on winning the Queen's Plate for a record fourth time Jan. 5th – and going level with Pocket Power's feat. He failed, though, to defend his crown and placed a disappointing fourth. Subsequently, he's drifted out to a 14/1 shot at the Met.
Could Legal Eagle make a comeback, will Do It Again continue his winning ways, or will Oh Susanna fend him off all male challengers to win the Met once again? American fans can watch the Sun Met as it happens on TVG.
The race is also available to live-stream and wager at ADW platforms such as TwinSpires, Xpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWager, HPIbet, AmWager, and BetAmerica. Fans can also get free access to live-streaming, past performances and expert picks on all races at skyracingworld.com.
About David Haslett
A former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, David was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, New Zealand, South African and South Korean thoroughbred racing and Australian Harness racing content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks.
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