The stagefright that almost cost Charles Lytton victory in the Listed Ibhayi Stakes in early March came back to haunt supporters of the Thomas Crown gelding, when he was beaten at odds-on by his stablemate Door Of Deception in Friday’s R150 000 Listed East Cape Guineas.
A determined ride by champion jockey S’manga Khumalo on Bernard Kantor’s long-striding Count Dubois colt proved the undoing of his 4-10 favourite stablemate Charles Lytton, who looked to be cruising when hitting the front 300m from home.
Door Of Deception came back from a beaten position to score an unlikely victory by a half length in a time of 97,54 secs. Justin Snaith trained both the top two.
With the field reduced to a disappointing five runners after the late withdrawal of Hands Of Stone who was found to be short at the load, they broke on terms with JP van der Merwe taking Motoman to lead.
Door Of Deception tracked the free-running newly blinkered Motoman all the way around,as Bernard Fayd’herbe had Charles Lytton relaxed in third about three lengths behind.
Fayd’herbe went for a gap on Charles Lytton between Door Of Deception and the pacesetting Motoman at the 450m marker and this appeared to cause Door Of Deception to roll towards the rail and caused Greg Cheyne to hesitate on Clifton Surf.
Cheyne appeared to switch his mount out after this and Clifton Surf had no chance thereafter – he ran a credible race to stay on again for third.
With Door Of Deception looking a beaten horse, the real character and heart of Charles Lytton was exposed as S’manga Khumalo pushed his mount hard to regain the lead into the final 100m.
In the drive to the line, Door Of Deception stayed on beautifully to win convincingly.
The Klawervlei Stud-bred Door Of Deception is a son of Count Dubois out of the five-time winning Captain Al mare Girl In Every Port, who was also trained by Justin Snaith.
Door Of Deception registered his third win with 8 places from 14 starts and stakes of R315 975.