Captain On The Up

The good to soft underfoot conditions added a tricky testing element

Wolf Power winner Captain Aldo stamped himself a serious contender for the Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes when he sealed the verdict in a thrilling three-corned finish to win the R400 000 Gr2 Hawaii Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.

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Captain Aldo (Bernard Fayd’herbe) holds off Lazer Star(Anthony Delpech) in a thriller (Pic – JC Photos)

The good to soft underfoot conditions added a tricky testing element to the quality 1400m feature and with the fancied Ice Machine and Trip To Heaven hesitating at the start, the race was thrown wide open.

Three ‘stars’ lead the early gallop –  Andrew Fortune had Talktothestars in front, ahead of Lazer Star and Winter Star, and this tongue-twister created a mini nightmare for commentator Alistair Cohen, with the pace a mixed one.

The favourite Ice Machine was relaxed at the rear, with Trip To Heaven a length ahead of him on the rail.

The ten horse field fanned out with attacks coming from all sides at the 400m marker as the first cheque looked anybody’s for the taking.

With the 4yo filly Lazer Star accelerating impressively down the centre, and Ice Machine taking his time to find his pitch down the outside, it was the top-class heavyweight Bernard  Fayd’herbe who had Captain Aldo ghosting through down the inside.

Bernard Fayd'herbe - smashing ride

Bernard Fayd’herbe – smashing ride

In a sprint to the wire, Captain Aldo got the better of the gallant Lazer Star, by a short head in a time of 86,89 secs.

Ice Machine was a neck away in third, a head in front of the improved again, Unparalleled, who finished powerfully.

Only a half length covered the top four, with Trip To Heaven producing a fairly modest effort after his poor start.

He ran 1,75 lengths back in fifth.

Captain Aldo races in the interests of St John Gray and well-known Cape restauranteur, Aldo Girolo.

He was bred by Boland Stud and is a son of Captain Al out of the three-time winning Elliodor mare, Cuddle Me.

Gray has been associated with this family with some success and said that Captain Aldo had shown that he could be close to as good as his brother, Glorious Jet.

Next stop the Horse Chestnut!

_________

Gr2 Hawaii Stakes (SAf-Gr2)

Turffontein, South Africa, February 27, R400k, 1400m, turf, soft, 1.26.98

1 – CAPTAIN ALDO (SAF), 59.0, b g 5, Captain Al (SAF) – Cuddle Me (SAF) by Elliodor (FR). Owner Messrs A Girolo & St John D Gray; Breeder Boland Stud; trainer SD Gray; jockey B Fayd’herbe
2 – Lazer Star (SAF), 57.5, b f 4, Toreador (IRE) – Empress Of Ozz (AUS) by Sri Pekan (IRE)
3 – Ice Machine (SAF), 60.0, b g 7, Silvano (GER) – Skid Alley (SAF) by Elliodor (FR)
Margins: 0.05, 0.25, 0.20

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