When Missisippi Burning scored by three lengths to win Saturday’s Gr1 World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas, she became the 98th individual stakes winner sired by the late, multiple champion sire and Cape Guineas winner, Captain Al.
The latter has now been responsible for three individual Cape Fillies Guineas winners, with Missisippi Burning joining her paternal half-sisters Captain’s Lover (2007) and Snowdance (2017).
The former Klawervlei sire has also fared well in the male equivalent, with sons, William Longsword and Tap O’ Noth, winning the Gr1 Cape Guineas in 2016 and 2017. Captain Al went close to enjoying a feature race double on Saturday with his high-class son, One World, running another good race when second in the Gr2 World Sports Betting Green Point Stakes.
His other Guineas winners include Fiorella (Daisy Fillies Guineas), One World (Winter Guineas), and Secret Captain (Daisy Guineas).
Captain Al, whose champion sire, Al Mufti, is broodmare sire of Saturday’s beaten Fillies Guineas favourite, Kelpie (Dynasty), has an excellent record as a sire of high-class fillies, and Missisippi Burning is his 11th daughter to win a Gr1 race. His other Gr1 winning daughters are Carry On Alice, Cloth Of Cloud, Emerald Cove, Snowdance, Captain’s Lover, Captain’s Gal, All Is Secret, The Secret Is Out, Celtic Sea, Miss Florida and Pine Princess.
A half-brother to a Cape Fillies Guineas winner in the shape of Shadow Dancing (Fort Wood), Captain Al has left behind at least one Gr1 winner in each of his 12 crops to race. His most prolific crop thus far, in terms of Gr1 winners produced, was foaled in 2013 and included the following Gr1 winners: Always In Charge (Gold Medallion), Cloth Of Cloud (SA Nursery), Sergeant Hardy (Cape Flying Championship), The Secret Is Out (Allan Robertson Fillies Championship) and William Longsword (Cape Guineas).
In terms of individual black type winners, Captain Al’s best crop was foaled in 2012, with this group numbering 13 individual black type winners. The bay, twice Champion Sire in South Africa and eight times Leading South African Sire of 2yo’s, is responsible for 180 black type horses in total. It is surely only a matter of time before Captain Al is represented by his 100th black type winner. His ongoing success has resulted in a flurry of locally bred stallions retiring to stud.
His champion sprinter son Captain Of All has made a fine start with his first crop, now three, headed by recent Gr2 TAB/Betting World Dingaans winner, Shango, and two other stakes winners.
Another son, William Longsword, is set to have his first yearlings sell in 2020, and, having been well supported at stud thus far, he looks poised to be another success in the Captain Al story.
The last four winners of the Cape Fillies Guineas were by South African bred stallions, with Dynasty’s daughters, Front And Centre and Just Sensual, winning the Cape classic in 2018 and 2016 respectively. Another locally bred sire, Jet Master, is responsible for Cape Fillies Guineas winners In The Fast Lane and Ebony Flyer.
With a large number of high-class stakes winning daughters, and some very well bred daughters at that, it also appears likely that Captain Al will build steadily on his already notable success as a broodmare sire.
Captain Al’s own sire, Al Mufti (Roberto), also came up with a Cape Fillies Guineas winner, with the Al Mufti sired champion Arabian Lass, triumphing in the 1996 race. The Roberto male line has enjoyed significant success in the Fillies Guineas with Roberto’s son Red Ransom siring the 2012 winner, Rumya, and another Al Mufti son, Victory Moon, siring 2011 Cape Fillies Guineas winner, Princess Victoria.
Missisippi Burning’s links to past Cape Fillies Guineas winners don’t end with Captain Al, however. Her stakes placed dam, Spitfire Lady, is a daughter of multiple champion sire, Hussonet, broodmare sire of champion, and 2014 Cape Fillies Guineas winner, Majmu (Redoute’s Choice), while the 2019 Cape Fillies Guineas winner’s granddam, Australian Gr3 winner, Galroof, was sired by Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes hero, Maroof (Danzig), the sire of former back-to-back Cape Fillies Guineas winners, Toccata (1999) and Hoeberg (2000).
Her links with stellar SA gallopers don’t end with her maternal grandsire and Maroof, with Spitfire Lady’s fourth dam, Pavella, (Palestine) is also granddam of former South African champion sprinter, En Avant (Sallust) and third dam of another local sprint champion in the form of Taban (Home Guard).
The 2019 Cape Fillies Guineas winner hails from the same female line responsible for runners as diverse as 1000 Guineas winner, Hatoof, (Irish River) and three time Grand National winner, Red Rum (Quorum).
As a point of interest, Captain Al has been responsible for just two runners out of Maroof mares, with this mating having produced Missisippi Burning and the useful Frusk – a dual winner in South Africa, who ran third in the Gr3 Winter Derby.