A third successive Langerman winner for Vaughan Marshall? And could this be yet another Captain Al-sired Cape Guineas winner for him?
Doubtless the Milnerton trainer will be throwing up his hands in horror at such chicken-counting predictions but Captain Of Stealth again delivered the goods like Pegasus incarnate in the opener at Durbanville on Saturday.
Starting almost unbackable at 1-3, he was nudged into the lead almost from the off and 400m out he was asked to quicken. He was then shown the whip to make sure he got the message and, when MJ Byleveld looked back it was almost as if he himself couldn’t believe it. Twice more he turned his head round while his mount coasted home six lengths to the good.
“He was giving weight to two of the others and you are always seeing horses getting beaten when they do this,” he said, explaining why he kept looking round. “I know it’s early days yet but I think this horse is special. He is very good and his big asset is his speed.”
Marshall added: “You are always a bit worried that the first run might have been a fluke but his work at home has been phenomenal and this is what I expected. He is very good. We will see how he comes out of this but the Langerman is at the end of June and we will see how we go.”
The winner’s task was undoubtedly made a bit easier by the enforced withdrawal of Minnesota Dream but beating two previous winners by six lengths easing up takes some doing, and this is an exciting prospect even if he does not look the most straightforward of rides. On the way to the start he veered right instead of left at the bend past the stands and refused to stop until he had taken his jockey almost back into the parade ring.
Owner Pat Firestone sported a tie in his yellow and blue colours and his partner in the horse, John Habib, took things a colourful stage further with a shirt to match! “We are thrilled that the Captain came back and won so easily again,” said Firestone. “We have a lot to look forward to and we are very excited.”
Bernard Fayd’Herbe’s enforced absence cost him a winner on Celestial Storm in the next (Corne Orffer deputised) and possibly another on Lip Service. Keagan de Melo replaced him in the fillies maiden, had trouble securing a clear run and was only beaten a fast-dwindling three-quarters of a length by Bella Summer.
De Melo had some compensation on the Dean Kannemeyer-trained Var’s Boy while Justin Snaith, out of luck with Oh Susanna at Turffontein, struck with Jailhouse Rock and What A Red.
By Michael Clower