Beaten only once in five starts, that when a runner-up in the Listed Irridescence Stakes last term, Justin Snaith’s super smart multiple stakes winner Captain’s Ransom drifted in the betting, but came home straight as a die to win the R500 000 World Sports Betting Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth on Saturday.
A scintillating last-gasp winner over the older Gr1 winner Clouds Unfold in the Diana Stakes at her last jump, the Moutonshoek-bred Captain’s Ransom gave her staunch and enterprising owner Suzette Viljoen a maiden Gr1 success.
“Wow, what a feeling! Thanks to our good friend Anthony Peter for leading her in and to Snaith Racing for an outstanding professional performance again,” the thrilled Suzette, who with her husband Basie farms cattle at their base, ‘Net Nog Eentjie’, near Schweizer-Reneke, told the Sporting Post.
The lady who races in the pink and blue – the first for girls and the latter to show her passion for the Blue Bulls – has made giant strides since an introduction to veteran Corrie Lensley got her hooked on racing just under two years ago.
And buying more horses like Captain’s Ransom, a R225 000 ticket from the 2019 National Yearling Sale, can only keep the Viljoen fires burning.
But she was no standout at the sale.
“She didn’t look like this as a yearling! That’s why we only just covered the service fee but well done to whoever selected her,” laughed breeder Bennie van der Merwe, who recounted how his late partner Chris Gerber would have said: “When it works, it sure works, hey Bennie.”
Justin Snaith, winning his sixth Cape Fillies Guineas – the first coincidentally also a Captain Al daughter (remember Captain’s Lover) with Richard Fourie in the irons – said Saturday’s was ‘a diamond in the rough’.
“She has matured and developed. We had a plan and Suzette (Viljoen) was patient. Now we can go into the Paddock Stakes off 52kgs. You know we love our pudding in the summer,” chirped the red hot form trainer in what seemed a friendly veiled bit of needle in the direction of Paul Peter superstar, Summer Pudding. What a race that could turn out to be!
There is no question that Captain’s Ransom will go further than the mile – more reason to be feeling upbeat.
Richard Fourie, riding his fourth Cape Fillies Guineas winner, had her handier than usual – and closer forward than where he admitted he wanted to be – but after a minor tussle with her smart contemporary Princess Calla (5-2), Captain’s Ransom (3-1) was just too strong and drew away, clearly enjoying the kinder summer course home straight, to win by 2,25 lengths in a time of 98,44 secs.
Chat Ching (17-2) stayed on best of the balance a length back in third, while the winner’s stablemate in the De Broglio silks, Dazzling Sun (6-1) stayed on for fourth from some way off the heat.
As mentioned, the winner was bred by Moutonshoek, and is out of the unraced Red Ransom mare Cinna’s Ransom. The latter, dam of multiple winners in Britain, is a half-sister to Gr3 Prix de Saint-Georges winner Black Rock Desert and multiple Japanese stakes winner Toyo Seattle.
Cinna’s Ransom’s own dam, the Plankton Stakes winner, City Dance is a full-sister to multiple Gr1 winner, and successful sire, Slew City Slew.
So Captain’s Ransom has become a very valuable filly.
With 4 wins and a place from 5 starts, she has banked R472 875.