The R500 000 Gr1 Thekwini Stakes may well go down as the coming of age of a future champion filly. Captain Al’s outstanding daughter All Is Secret showed that she is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming season’s classic with a velvet smooth victory in this mile event.
Trainer Vaughan Marshall silenced the detractors and cynics who jumped on the tail-pulling bandwagon after the grey had found the exertions of overcoming an eleven draw in the Gr1 Golden Slipper on July day, too much for her. She had finished 6,35 lengths behind the exceptionally smart looking Rumya, but showed that she is much better than that by reversing the Golden Slipper form with all of Straight Set, King’s Temptress and Fire Wheel.
Marcus edged to within two wins of Lerena in the jockey title race with this win, and rode a confident race by allowing her to settle in midfield. The shrewd fitting of a tongue-tie by trainer Vaughan Marshall no doubt also added to the filly’s improved performance.
The pace was on from the jump with Alec Forbes taking Mike Miller’s Fast Jet out to lead from the maiden Tappin’The Stars. Strydom had Fire Wheelsettled in third,while King’s Temptress, All Is Secret and Straight Set lay six lengths and further back.
Felix Coetzee moved the favourite Straight Set up into third as the field went through the 1000m marker, as the order remain unchanged and Marcus sat confidently on All Is Secret, who had moved out of her 2 barrier draw path.
Turning for home Felix Coetzee pressed the button on the even-money favourite Straight Set as Fire Wheel moved up menacingly in the centre, with All Is Secret being asked the question.
In a matter of strides the flying grey took over as Marcus drover her clear. Straight Set stayed on tamely for the fifth second cheque in her eight run career.
All Is Secret, who had drifted from 22-10 to 5-2 at the off, won by 1,75 lengths in a time of 95,81 secs.
Joey Ramsden’s Careful Hiker recovered smartly from an awful start, and she stormed through late to pip King’s Temptress for third. She could be a lurker for the notebook on this run.
Sean Tarry’s Fire Wheel faded out after looking threatening into the straight.
Bred by the BBP Syndicate, the winner is by Captain Al out of the terrific Group winning Goldkeeper mare Secret Of Victoria. In a remarkable sentimental touch, both winning sire and dam were also trained by Marshall.
All Is Secret was an R800 000 purchase at the National Sale and is now a winner of 3 races with 1 place from 5 starts.
In winning this feature, she doubled her career earnings to a healthy R700 380. Over and above that she also picked up a R100 000 added bonus, as a Bloodstock South Africa sales graduate.
That’s good going for a 2yo who only had her first start on 19 February this year and with her entire career ahead of her, she should add handsomely to that balance.
Never mind a possible Equus Award too.
Thekwini S. (SAf-G1) (7/28)
Greyville, South Africa, July 28, R500.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.35.81 (CR 1.32.77).
ALL IS SECRET (SAF), 58.0, gr f 2, Captain Al (SAF) – Secret Of Victoria (SAF) by Goldkeeper. Owner M J Jooste and G M Miller; breeder BBP Syndicate (SAF); trainer VH Marshall; jockey A Marcus (R312.500)
Straight Set (SAF), 58.0, ch f 2, Victory Moon (SAF) – Sublime Surge (SAF) by Elliodor (FR)
Careful Hiker (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Spectrum (IRE) – Our Table Mountain by Fusaichi Pegasus
Margins: 1¾ , 1½ , nose
Also ran: King’s Temptress (SAF) 58.0, Fire Wheel (SAF) 58.0, Senorita Casey (SAF) 58.0, Boogie With Cher (AUS) 58.0, Tappin’ The Stars (SAF) 58.0, Five Rings (SAF) 58.0, Fast Jet (SAF) 58.0