Marshall Law At Fairview

Captain Al 3yo shows her class

Top trainers see the opportunities and take them. Vaughan Marshall spotted the Listed Lady’s Pendant as a potential confidence booster for the major centre stakes performer Canukeepitsecret and the Milnerton team duly travelled up the Garden Route to see the plan come together at Fairview on Friday.

The smashingly bred Gr1 placed 3yo has been selectively and lightly raced throughout her career and after a smart fourth in the Southern Cross Stakes Stakes at her penultimate start, was surprisingly allowed to run free at 13-1 when scoring a smart win in a thrilling finish on Friday.

The O jockeys dominate! MJ Byleveld drives Canukeepitsecret to victory as Lyle Hewitson keeps him committed on Mary O’Reilly (Pic – Pauline Herman Photography)

Stable assistant Adele Alsop and jockey MJ Byleveld have travelled the road previously and it all panned out well.

After Via Sacra and Pepper Oak went quickly early, Avontuur sponsored MJ Byleveld, who is riding with improved vigour since his recent surgery, had Canukeepitsecret tucked in about three lengths back on the outside.

At the 300m it was anybody’s race with the favourite and local star Mary O’Reilly catching the eye.

In the drive to the wire Byleveld timed it perfectly to gain the edge by a deceptive quarter length (it looked much less) in a time of 67,28 secs over Mary O’Reilly, with Evelina running a cracker in third.

Cape challengers filled three of the four quartet slots with Township Melody finding her feet late for fourth.

Trainer Vaughan Marshall, who was naturally pleased with the win, told the Sporting Post that Canukeepitsecret would go for a local winter  feature like the Champagne Stakes.

The winner has won 3 races with 4 places from 10 starts for stakes of R314 125.

She was bred by the BBP Syndicate and is raced by two members of that successful breeding partnership in Basil Nelson and Garth Miller.

She is a daughter of the multiple champion Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the multiple winner producing six-time victress stakes performer Secret Of Victoria (GoldKeeper) – who was also trained by Vaughan Marshall.

This is a powerful family as the winner’s granddam is Equus champion Mystic Spring, the Irish-bred Royal Academy mare, who produced the ill-fated 2005 Equus Champion 3yo Rabiya and the top class multiple Gr1 winner Bela-Bela.

Mystic Spring’s dam, Secret Sunday, is a full sister to Mystiko – who gave Michael Roberts his first British classic when winning the 1991 English 2000 Guineas.

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