Youth was served in the Jan. 27 Sun Met Celebrated with G.H. Mumm (G1) at Kenilworth, as Oh Susanna—the only 3-year-old and the only filly in the 18-horse field—prevailed by a half-length.
South African racing officials said Oh Susanna became the first 3-year-old filly winner of the Sun Met since Black Bess in 1905.
Last Winter, a late-developing 4-year-old, finished second with two of South Africa's most renowned older horses, Marinaresco and Legal Eagle, settling for third and fourth in the 2,000-meter race. Marinaresco is a 5-year-old gelding by Silvano. Legal Eagle, by Greys Inn, is a 6-year-old gelding, and much of the pre-race discussion was about which of the nation's younger horses might be positioned to move up into the top ranks.
Legal Eagle, a multiple group 1 winner, went to the post as the favorite but drew an outside gate and conceded significant weight to Oh Susanna. He seized the lead inside the 200-meter mark, but could not hold it, as Oh Susanna edged past under jockey Grant van Niekerk. Last Winter closed late, as the 26-year-old van Niekerk already was celebrating, but could not catch the winner.
"It was a rough race, and she took time to unwind," van Niekerk told TABNews. "But I knew I'd get there. I've got goosebumps."
Oh Susanna, a Street Cry filly out of the Touch Gold mare Sharp Susan, finished in 2:03.50 for trainer Justin Snaith, who snared his first Sun Met win. The race had eluded him and his father, Chris, for decades.
Oh Susanna broke through at the group 1 level in her previous race, the Jan. 6 Cartier Paddock Stakes for fillies and mares. The Sun Met was her third win from eight starts.