The unbeaten Captain Of Stealth, odds-on for the Langerman at Kenilworth on Saturday, was a shock absentee from yesterday’s declarations for the two-year-old Grade 3.
Vaughan Marshall said: ”He has had a bit of a setback. He wrapped himself below the joint and just above the coronet. John McVeigh says that he has only seen one case similar to this. We are waiting for the scan results but hopefully it is not serious.”
The stable has won the 1 500m race in the past two seasons with subsequent Cape Guineas winner Tap O’Noth and One World. It will be represented this time by Silver Operator (M.J. Byleveld) and Path Of Choice (Sandile Mbhele). The former looked something special when storming home three and a half lengths clear on debut earlier this month and he was odds-on at 0.85-1 when Track And Ball put up it prices yesterday afternoon.
There are 11 declared for the Winter Derby on the same card making it the first time in four years that the race will be in double figures. Majestic Mozart and Herodotus, third and fourth in the Winter Classic, would appear to dominate the race on ratings but the East Cape Derby winner St Vladimir joins them in the betting. T & B make them all joint favourite at 2.85-1. Helen’s Ideal is 18-10 favourite to complete a clean sweep of the fillies winter series in the Winter Oaks.
Marinaresco, the 2017 Vodacom Durban July winner, has been moved from Dubai to Singapore and is temporarily on the sidelines.
Marsh Shirtliff, in whose famous colours the now six-year-old races, said: “He recently had a minor op – a chip taken out of his near-fore knee – but we hope to race him again in about four months and he will then go for staying races. Ricardo Legrange, a protégé of Pat Shaw, is to train him. He will stay in Singapore but, when we retire him, we may bring him back to South Africa.”
Pretty Young Thing, who won the finale at Kenilworth last Wednesday with scarcely believable ease, is to run again quite soon.
Brett Crawford said: “She has definitely improved and I will probably give her one more run during the winter. It will be in the next three weeks and we will see how she gets on in her first race out of the maidens. We will then put her away.”
Ridgemont’s Jackson filly with the Australian pedigree had finished second on her first two starts at Durbanville but last Wednesday’s run was in a different league. She came right away in the straight and, even though Anton Marcus let her ease down in the closing stages, she still won by three lengths and, in the words of commentator Jehan Malherbe, “She could have won by a dozen.”
By Michael Clower