Oh Susanna and her connections after her Sun Met victory at Kenilworth

Oh Susanna and her connections after her Sun Met victory at Kenilworth

Liesl King

Oh Susanna Bests Elders to Take Sun Met

First 3-year-old filly winner of the Sun Met since Black Bess in 1905.

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.

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