The R200 000 Kepu Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery produced a Captain Al exacta when two sons of the late champion sire entertained the Cape Town Prawn Festival crowd at Kenilworth on Saturday in a thrilling finish, that attracted the attention of the Stipes.
Despite being in command for much of the 1200m contest, the popular Justin Snaith -trained favourite Erik The Red (11-20), labelled the best bet of the day, ran green when coming under pressure in the latter stages and shifted into the path of the late finishing Joseph Barry (8-1), under Anton Marcus.
Only 0,30 lengths separated the two at the line but the Snaith runner always looked to hold the upper hand and the Stipes agreed, taking no further action after wacthing film a few times.
Erik The Red clocked 72,26 secs under Richard Fourie.
Vaughan Marshall also saddled the third horse home when first-timer Rascallion (14-1) stayed on 1,25 lengths further back in third.
The rest were well beaten.
The winner is a Varsfontein bred and raced son of deceased champion Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the 2011 Gr1 Majorca Stakes victress and seven-time winner Covenant (Western Winter).
Erik The Red has won three races from four starts for stakes of and took his stakes bank to R270 625.
He will now likely next see action in KZN during the SA Champions Season.
The experiment of moving the Nursery forward a few months can hardly be hailed a massive success with just seven horses lining up – four of which were unraced. Hopefully the race programmers will revisit the move and apply some science rather than thumbsuck emotion come 2021.
Stipes report excerpt:
Leaving the 100m, ERIK THE RED (R Fourie) changed stride and rolled outwards, resulting in JOSEPH BARRY (A Marcus) being carried out slightly at the 50 m.
A race review was called by Jockey A Marcus, the rider of JOSEPH BARRY, the 2nd placed horse, and a member of the Stipendiary Board into thisincident. However, after viewing the patrol films of the race, both parties decided not to take any further action regarding this incident. In arriving at this decision, the following factors were considered:the proximity of the incident to the finishing line, the extent of the interference and the actual visual loss of momentum and that from the side on angle in particular, the Stipendiary Steward could not be satisfied that but for the above incident, JOSEPH BARRY (A Marcus) would have finished ahead of ERIK THE RED (R Fourie).
CONTACT ZONE (S Veale) and RASCALLION (M Byleveld) raced green.
At approximately the 350m, JOSEPH BARRY (A Marcus) had to steady momentarily and switch in off the heels of PURPLE CLOUD (A Domeyer) which was hanging out.
Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery (SAf-Gr3)
Kenilworth, South Africa, February 22, R200k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.12.26
1 – ERIK THE RED (SAF), 60.0, b c 2, Captain Al (SAF) – Covenant (SAF) by Western Winter (USA). Owner Varsfontein Stud (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mr J S Kalmanson); Breeder Varsfontein Stud; trainer J Snaith; jockey R Fourie
2 – Joseph Barry (SAF), 60.0, b c 2, Captain Al (SAF) – Asiatic Pearl (SAF) by Tiger Ridge (USA)
3 – Rascallion (SAF), 60.0, b c 2, Vercingetorix (SAF) – Sofala (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
Margins: 0.30, 1.25, 1.25