Easy For Redeemer

Great lines and good fortunes!

Veteran Varsfontein Stud manager Carl de Vos told anybody who would listen that Captain America’s brother Redeemer was a horse to pencil in for better things. That was when the Brett Crawford galloper won his maiden in June last year.

Easy does it! Anthony Delpech steers Redeemer to a facile win (Pic – Candiese Marnewick / Gold Circle)

At Scottsville on Sunday the good-looking gelding made it 4 wins from 10 starts – his last 3 wins achieved by an aggregate of 15 lengths.

The 4yo has become something of a Scottsville mile specialist and starting at odds of 7-20, he arrived under leaden skies as the weather closed in. He was everybody’s banker to win an admittedly shallow MR 81 Handicap by 6,25 lengths.

Anthony Delpech

Anthony Delpech – leads championship and finished day on 104 winners

Anthony Delpech registered the final double on the Scottsville card to take his tally to 104 winners for the season, but he did little to earn his commission on Redeemer, who gave him the proverbial armchair ride.

At the time of Redeemer’s Kenilworth mile maiden win in June, Carl de Vos confirmed that the youngster had not been sent to sale as he had a fetlock problem.

“We have leased him to Delma and Lance Sherrell and we wish them every success. He was gelded and given time. I expect him to go on with it.”

Prophetic words uttered over seven months ago!

While he has some way to go to be spoken about in the same breath as his illustrious Gr1 winning brother, Redeemer is in the pink of health and form and plenty could be heard about him in the next few months.

Captain Al

Captain Al (Al Mufti – Off To War)

He is by Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the five-time winner Requista (Fort Wood). And her story, like that of most of the Varsfontein grand dynasties, is filled with romance and good fortune.

Redeemer’s female family originates from the French-bred yearling Flash On, bought by Varsfontein founder Anthony Kalmanson at the Newmarket Houghton Sale in 1974. He wanted a top filly to race and breed with in Europe and as a member of Jim Joel’s splendid Queen Of Light family, the daughter of Sea Hawk II perfectly fit the bill.

Home of champions – Varsfontein Stud

Put into training with Chantilly-based Hubert d’Aillieres in Chantilly, she won once and earned valuable black type when third in the Gr3 Prix Cleopatre, good enough for a place at stud.

She produced Redeemer’s grandam Riding Light from Top Ville in 1985.

Retired to Varsfontein, Riding Light failed to conceive the first year at stud and next visited Russian Fox. Thought to be not in foal, she was put out with the barren mares and when the new breeding season arrived, she patently failed to cycle, much to the frustration of stud manager Carl de Vos. To everyone’s surprise, she was in fact in foal and in 1992, produced a small filly. Named Dacha, this six-time winner made up for in heart what she lacked in inches, landing the Gr3 Prix du Cap.

Varsfontein’s Carl and Amanda de Vos with Joy Armitage (left)

She became a valued member of the Oldlands broodmare band and counts amongst her nine winners Gr2 Hawaii Stakes runner-up Jarowslaw (Jallad), Gardenia second Adorable (Captain Al) and Swallow Stakes third Katinka (Dominion Royale).

Riding Light’s Cordoba filly Shiver My Timbers won four times for trainer Alistair Gordon and she too became a stakes producer, her Rich Man’s Gold son Pirate’s Gold claiming the Gr3 King’s Cup and running third in the Gr2 Derby at Clairwood.

Riding Light produced her second stakes winner when Model Man daughter Cruise Collection won the Gr2 Gold Bracelet at Greyville.

Riding Light’s liaison with Fort Wood yielded the filly Requista, the dam of Captain America and Redeemer.

Champion Captain America in action

She was sent to the sales but when the buyer reneged, the sale was cancelled. Trained by Eric Sands and Geoff Woodruff, she eventually returned to Varsfontein a stakes-placed five-time winner. A classy performer over ground, she picked up black type when second to Cape Badger in the Spook Express Handicap.

Her second foal, the Al Mufti filly Aquitaine, became her dam’s first stakes winner with a career-defining victory in the Gr3 Jacaranda Handicap.

The mare became a Gr1 producer for Varsfontein when Captain America travelled to Turffontein and made light work of the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, defeating the talented globetrotter Tellina.

Requista died at the end of 2016  but she has left Varsfontein with a Judpot filly.The great lines continue…

Keep an eye on Redeemer!

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