Gr2 Colorado King S: Captain’s Wild

Captains Wild

Captain's Wild, another Gr winner for his sire Captain Al

Captain’s Wild looks to be a progressive sort and the four-year-old coped comfortably with his first tilt at a Feature race when he won the Colorado King Stakes over 2000m at Turffontein (standside) on Saturday.  In the process, he more than likely booked himself a place in the R2m President’s Champions Challenge over the same course-and-distance on April 30th, writes Matthew Lips.

Captain’s Wild had run out the easy winner of an ordinary Vaal 1800m handicap eleven days earlier and was sent out the 13/10 favourite in a field of nine for the Colorado King, a conditions race in which on MRs quite a few could be given a sound winning chance.  Rudi Rocks was the 3/1 second favourite as his long-suffering backers took their chances once more with this talented but very hard-to-win-with character, while Aslan was the 11/2 second favourite over the course-and-distance where he won the Gr 1 Summer Cup in 2009.

Happy Landing had won a Listed handicap on the inner course with frontrunning tactics three weeks earlier and adopted the same approach here.  He set an ordinary gallop ahead of Smanjemanje and Bhekinkosi, with Superfederation next in line.  Captain’s Wild was biding his time further back as Rudi Rocks was also held up towards the rear.  Aslan raced at the tail of the field as Happy Landing continued to show the way until well into the straight, where Smanjemanje was the first to launch a challenge to the pacesetter.

Smanjemanje led briefly as Happy Landing began to weaken, but Captain’s Wild was making rapid and smooth headway under Anthony Delpech and comfortably got the better of Smanjemanje deep inside the last furlong, and in the end the favourite could afford to take things easy as he beat Smanjemanje with considerably more aplomb than the half-length margin suggests.   Power Park finished 1.25 lengths further back in third, staying on steadily but never really threatening the first two, while Happy Landing was a further 2.75 lengths away in fourth.  The frustrating Rudi Rocks never got into the race at all this time and was beaten a total of 4.60 lengths into fifth, while Aslan only beat one home and didn’t appear to show a great deal of enthusiasm for the task at hand.

Captain’s Wild was starting for the third time since he returned from an absence of more than six months, during which he joined Mike de Kock after having previously been trained by Penny Kimberley.  The four-year-old won this race cosily enough from a runner-up who was weighted with an identical chance to the winner, and while this may not have been the hottest Gr 2 in history it emphatically showed that Captain’s Wild is somewhat more than your everyday handicap horse.  This marked only his eighth racecourse appearance in total, and with plenty of stamina in the dam’s side of his pedigree it is quite possible that he will stay further still than 2000m.  Whether he is genuinely a Gr 1 horse remains to be seen, but he will get his chance to find out and he is a relatively unexposed sort who will have to be treated with some respect if he does indeed line up in search of the big prize at the end of this month.  The Champions Challenge is also a conditions race and this win in a Gr 2 earned Captain’s Wild a one kg penalty for that event.

Captain’s Wild is a gelding by Captain Al out of the Esplendor mare Wild Deb, whose five career wins came between 2000m and 2400m.  Bred at Klawervlei Stud and bought for R90 000 at the 2008 Cape Vintage yearling sale, he has won five of his eight races and earned R444 800.

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Colorado King S. (SAf-G2) (4/2)

Turffontein, South Africa, April 2, R300.000, 2000m, turf, good, 2.03.37 (CR 2.00.13).

CAPTAIN’S WILD (SAF), 57.5, b g 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Wild Deb (SAF) by Esplendor (ARG). Owner C H Savage and C J Koster; breeder Klawervlei Stud (SAF); trainer M F de Kock; jockey A Delpech (R187.500)

Smanjemanje (SAF), 57.5, b c 4, Kahal (GB) – In Style (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)

Power Park (SAF), 57.5, b g 5, Camden Park – Token Power (SAF) by Token Of Youth

Margins: ½, 1¼, 2¾

Also ran: Happy Landing (SAF) 58.0, Rudi Rocks (SAF) 57.5, Vertical Takeoff (SAF) 59.0, Superfederation (SAF) 57.5, Aslan (SAF) 60.0, Bhekinkosi (SAF) 57.5

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