On The Red Carpet Today

Son of Captain Al goes for three on the trot

Gelding has worked wonders for the Gareth van Zyl-trained Redcarpet Captain. The magnificent son of Captain Al has won both of his starts since the unkindest cut was inflicted on 31 May and he could make it a hat-trick in the topliner at Greyville today.

The Van Zyl-Burnard combination have come out of the gates flying since the new man Gareth saddled his first ‘solo’ runner on Friday 28 October.

Redcarpet Captain - won well in KZN recently

Redcarpet Captain – goes for the hat-trick

It is well documented that his first two runners that night were both winners – including a success in the Listed Michaelmas – and now that the dust and hype have settled, it’s back to the grindstone.

A R1,2 million purchase, the Klawervlei Stud-bred Redcarpet Captain showed terrific promise early on and race programme pressure and dreams of a possible career as stallion prevented the connections from taking the plunge to geld him.

A radical shift in strategy  brought on by frustration and a measure of desperation saw  them pushing him to 2000m with a run in the Gr1 Daily News 2000.  The experiment failed as he ran a 26,85 lengths last behind Rabada.

He was gelded three days later, and commenced his winning spree a month down the line on July day.

Get your racecard here

They haven’t looked back and two Greyville polytrack 1200m victories later, he is back over the course and distance on Wednesday, set for a very reachable hat-trick.

Carrying 63kgs with regular pilot Warren Kennedy aboard, he finds himself squaring up to Tony Rivalland’s Al Ciberano at a kilo worse terms than last time when he beat the Al Miqdaaam gelding a head.

Dennis Schwarz’ claim aboard Al Ciberano  is replaced by the vast experience of Anthony Delpech coupled with the plus of a good draw – last time he bumped Redcarpet Captain he ran from a 10 out of 11 draw . (Mind you Red carpet Captain was on his outside!).

There are others that could be classed serious challengers.

Eddie Sweat wins at Clairwood on 13-12-21

Eddie Sweat has come down the ratings

Eddie Sweat has come down the ratings and while this five-time winner has not done much for a while, he comes in with a handy weight and a decent draw at the bottom of the handicap. If he runs anywhere near his peak, he could rattle cages.

Eric Ngwane takes 1,5kgs off the 7yo Tuscan’s back and the Argentinian bred son of Easing Along is another capable of bouncing back with a decent effort over the course and distance.

Anton Marcus rides the consistent Top Form for Charles Laird, who also saddles the 6yo Waltzed Home.

Marcus Anton

Anton Marcus – rides Top Form

Top Form seldom runs a bad race and has shown enough on this surface to challenge. He ran a good race on the turf after a rest last time out.

Waltzed Home was a heartbeat behind Redcarpet Captain last time and he seems very effective over the track and trip – his last win (albeit a year ago!), being achieved here.

Dennis Drier’s Sea Fever is also effective on this strip but returns from a 21 week break and may need the outing.

Alistair Gordons’ Beat The Retreat and Bunker Bill are both very capable.

The preference is for the former who is very decent and has run close to the likes of Heartland and Humidor.

The vote though is for Redcarpet Captain to make it three on the trot and to celebrate a tough decision on the part of the connections to geld.

Beat The Retreat and Top Form looks best of the rest.

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