Captain Of Stealth to take the salute

PUBLISHED: 09 April 2019

Captain Of Stealth (Chase Liebenberg)

Captain Of Stealth makes his eagerly awaited second appearance in the opening Juvenile Plate at Durbanville on Saturday. All due deference to the Candice Bass-Robinson stars, this colt looks the best two-year-old seen out in Cape Town so far this season.

Starting favourite at 6-10 on debut, the R500 000 Captain Al was allowed to take it up after two and a half furlongs and from 400m out he stretched away effortlessly to win by five and a half lengths in impressive fashion with Vaughan Marshall declaring: “I think he is something special.”   True, no winner has come out of the race but the over-riding impression was that the colt’s trainer was spot-on.

Captain Of Stealth (Chase Liebenberg)
Captain Of Stealth (Chase Liebenberg)

The Langerman on June 29 is his aim and on Saturday he has to contend with three other previous winners –Finding Camelot, Marco Polo and Minnesota Dream- as well as concede 3kg to four maidens.

Brett Crawford is considering a tilt at the 1 200m Olympic Duel Stakes at Kenilworth on May 25 for Run Fox Run who had no difficulty in extending her unbeaten run to three at Kenilworth last Wednesday. The handicappers have raised her seven points to a new rating of 91 which should give her a reasonable weight in the Listed handicap.

Crawford intends sticking to sprints with Ridgemont’s Australian-bred for the time being – but he expects stable companion Boomps A Daisy, effortless winner of a 1 000 maiden on the same day, to get further; her sire Zoustar won up to 1 400m and her dam at up to a mile. She will start in handicap company off a mark of 73.

Anton Marcus fell foul of the Rule 62.2.3 – ‘every rider must ride his horse out to the end of a race to the satisfaction of the stipendiary stewards’ – when repeatedly looking round on Run Fox Run in the final furlong. He was fined R1 000.

Senior stipe Ernie Rodrigues explained to the writer that the relevant rule is not, as is widely supposed, to lay things on a plate for the handicappers but to ensure that jockeys are not caught napping by something finishing unexpectedly fast. The rule is common in the southern hemisphere but does not exist in many parts of Europe. In Britain and Ireland, for example, the only stipulations are that a horse must be run, and be seen to be run, on its merits and to be given a full opportunity to achieve the best possible placing. Ensuring that the winning margin is less than it could be is not an offence provided the placing is unaffected.

Robert Khathi has been given a ten-day suspension for causing interference on Trip To The Sky to second-placed Russet Air in the Handicap at Kenilworth last Wednesday whereas Craig Zackey on the winner Vardy was given seven days (April 14-20) for essentially the same offence – both riders switched their whips to the outside hand causing their mounts to veer inwards. According to the stipes Khathi’s actions were much more pronounced.

By Michael Clower