The diminutive Captain Al filly Missisippi Burning gave young trainer Adam Marcus his maiden Gr1 win in December last year and she produced the magic again as she bounced back off a 25 week break to score a dramatic last gasp victory in the R150 000 World Sports Betting Gr2 Fillies Guineas at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.
After stablemate Vardy had overraced in the Drill Hall Stakes a half hour earlier, Missisippi Burning did the same in the fairer sex classic and Adam Marcus’ heart would have been in his throat.
Not that Adam’s winning jockey, Mauritzfontein-Wilgerbosdrift-sponsored Craig Zackey was exactly relaxedly cruising either.
“Her temperament almost got to her behind the stalls. I thought we would be scratched. Then between the 300m to 100m I could see the front-runner wasn’t stopping. The nerves were there! But she personifies the ‘dynamite in small packages’ tag and she delivered when I asked,” said a clearly relieved Zackey.
With the pace sedate early as nobody was keen to go , Gareth Wright was a reluctant Pied Piper on Lady Legend as Driving Miss Daisy and Mary O tracked her into the home run.
Serino Moodley slipped his field at the 300m as Mary O looked to cause the upset at 50-1.
At the 200m Mary O held a solid lead and wasn’t stopping as Missisippi Burning dashed for the inside and went for a narrow gap on the rail.
The Cape Fillies Guineas winner caught the Lezeanne Forbes galloper on the line to win by a short head in a time 98,70 secs.
Mary O and Vaughan Marshall’s Labyrinth (14-1) completed a terrific swinger for Avontuur sire Oratorio in second and third. They are both worth following this season.
Glen Kotzen’s Follow The Star (25-1) was not disgraced in fourth just 2,45 lengths off the winner.
Interbet-sponsored Adam Marcus described his special filly as having a heart of gold.
“I was very impressed. She loves a fight and she got one today. Thanks to Mario Ferreira and Des Gonsalves for their support. And to Craig Zackey – a great ride.”
Bred by Rathmor Stud, Missisippi Burning is by champion sire Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the multiple stakes-placed Hussonet mare Spitfire Lady, who won four times in Australasia.
Missisippi Burning, a R380 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, has won 5 races with 2 places from 8 starts for stakes of R887 802.