Former SA Champion sire Captain Al was crowned Champion sire of 2yo’s for an extraordinary eighth successive year last season. But he has always been a producer for the ages and he celebrated a terrific Gr3 double at Durbanville on Sunday with his promising daughter Captain’s Flame outgunning her rivals to win the Gr3 Diana Stakes in style.
The 4yo Captain’s Flame’s victory came a half hour after the 6yo multi-million rand earner Captain America had won the Matchem Stakes, to give the versatile and brilliant Captain Al a great double.
It has been some time since the Plattner Racing Team have had a Gr1 horse in their fleet but the impressive Captain’s Flame looks the one to carry the Summer Of Champions flag for the West Coast operation after a smart win.
The field of 13 that faced the starter was headed by Brett Crawford’s dual Gr2 winner Alexis who went off a lukewarm 5-2 favourite, with Captain’s Flame a generous 5-1, certainly when viewed in hindsight.
Both were coming off rests and it was the Plattner star who was to produce the goods as she used her beautiful stride just off Petty Officer’s lead, before pouncing at the 300m to draw away under a delighted Domeyer to beat Goodtime Gal by 0,75 lengths in a time of 84,20 secs.
The gallant Goodtime Gal made it a hat-trick of stakes race runner-up finishes to Captain’s Flame after also playing second fiddle to her in the Listed Sweet Chestnut Stakes and the Listed Stormsvlei Mile.
Come Fly With Me ran on strongly late for a half length further back third.
Her more fancied stablemate Miss Marker ran fourth.
The favourite Alexis never showed and could only manage a ninth place, 5,25 lengths behind.
Trainer Andre Nel, who has world-class training tracks at his disposal at the beautiful Rondeberg Training Centre, said that it had been difficult to prep his charge for this race.
“One doesn’t want them too forward this early in the season,” he said.
Aldo Domeyer, who has ridden Captain’s Flame to all her wins, saluted triumphantly at the line and it was obviously a win that gave him much pleasure.
“I just didn’t want to be slow out and needed to allow her to stride. The race worked out well and she won like a good horse. I think she will certainly get a mile,” he said.
This was Captain’s Flame’s major success to date and she has won 5 races from 7 starts with 2 places for stakes of R446 725.
Bred by Cheveley Stud, the winner is a daughter of Captain Al out of the one-time winning Fort Wood mare, Kindling.
She cost R1,2 million on the National Yearling Sale.
Captain Al will be in great demand again at this coming weekend’s CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale. He has 3 lots on offer – all males. Have a look at #74,#128 and #131.
Gr3 Diana Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Durbanville, South Africa, October 9, R250k, 1400m, turf, soft, 1.24.02
1 – CAPTAIN’S FLAME (SAF), 57.5, b f 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Kindling (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA). Owner Mrs S Plattner; Breeder Cheveley Stud; trainer A Nel; jockey A Domeyer
2 – Goodtime Gal (SAF), 57.5, b f 4, Royal Air Force (SAF) – Tirza (SAF) by Silvano (GER)
3 – Come Fly With Me (SAF), 58.0, b m 5, Jet Master (SAF) – Fly The Wind (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)
Margins: 0.75, 0.50, 0.05