The star-studded legacy of the deceased multiple champion Captain Al played a dominant role in the Scottsville Festival of Speed on Saturday when the Klawervlei legend produced a Gr1 double, crowned by a return to scintillating form by his 3yo daughter Celtic Sea who spreadeagled her field to win the SA Fillies Sprint.
The Tarry machine and reigning SA champion jockey Lyle Hewitson were in a rich vein of domineering form and the young rider made it a career fifth Gr1 score when he produced the smart Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein bred galloper in the internationally renowned brown and white Beck silks on the wide outside.
This was a significant victory – despite making it a double for the great sire – that was to prove sweet consolation for the narrow defeat by the Snaith galloper Miss Florida by Cavivar in the same silks for the Tarry yard in the Allan Robertson Championship earlier in the day.
After Justin Snaith’s well-performed sisters Juniper Spring and the favourite Snowdance had shown the way down the inside, it was Celtic Sea who made up ground from nearer last.
Despite lugging in slightly, she stormed clear to beat Snowdance going away by 1,70 lengths in a time of 66,90 secs.
Paul Gadsby’s longshot Vision To Kill showed again that she is much more competitive down the straight, when coming out to chase the top two, just over two lengths in arrears.
Duncan Howells Neptune’s Rain was well beaten a further 1,50 lengths back in fourth.
SA Champion Sire in 2015 and a record eight times SA Champion Sire of 2yo’s, the winner’s multiple Equus Outstanding Stallion also produced the runner-up in another dazzling display of his extraordinary impact on our bloodlines over the past two decades.
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, Celtic Sea is out of the two-time winner Ireland (Mark Of Esteem).
A R325 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, she made it a deserved first Gr1 success and took her stakes total to R1 412 937 with 5 wins and 5 places from her 14 starts.
Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint (SAf-Gr1)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 25, R750k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.06.09
1 – CELTIC SEA (SAF), 58.5, b f 3, Captain Al (SAF) – Ireland (BRZ) by Mark Of Esteem (IRE). Owner Mr A R & Mrs A B L Beck; Breeder Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein; trainer SG Tarry; jockey L Hewitson
2 – Snowdance (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Spring Lilac (SAF) by Joshua Dancer (USA)
3 – Vision To Kill (SAF), 60.0, b m 5, Kildonan (SAF) – Royal Vision (SAF) by Alami (USA)
Margins: 1.70, 2.10, 1.50