Speed – Always In Fashion

Cape Flying Championship boasts a glittering honour roll of stars

The Iron Horse - Sentinel

The Iron Horse – Sentinel

In a 46 year history, the greatest ‘Cape Flyer’ is surely the ‘Iron Horse’ Sentinel, who won the race for three years in succession from 1973.

Other multiple winners were Free Enterprise, Signor Amigo, Flobayou, Cordocelli, Laisserfaire, Nhlavini and present day Drakenstein stallion, What A Winter.

The Cape Flying Championship was launched in 1969 over the Milnerton 1000m course and run for a stake of R4000.

On Saturday, R1 million is up for grabs.

The race was switched to Kenilworth from 1996 and the brilliant Eric Sands trained Flobayou thus holds a rare distinction of being the only horse to win the Gr1 sprint at both Milnerton and Kenilworth.

The late Theo De Klerk, a true gentleman of Cape trainers, saddled the very first winner Benzol for his wife Lavinia.

But that Iron Horse Sentinel’s statistics tell the true story of resilience, bravery and versatility.

From 56 starts, he recorded 29 wins – with 12 Grade 1s and 21 places. Racing from two to seven years of age between 1971 and 1975, he travelled throughout the country and won at eight different racecourses from 1000m to 1600m.

The 1975 Jack Stubbs Memorial (then the name of the Cape Flying Championship) over 1000m at Milnerton is remembered by many as the cherry atop a fabulous career for Sentinel.

On a perfect Cape summer day, seven-year-old Sentinel whipped talented speedster Harry Hotspur, with two other precocious youngsters way back in third and fourth -Archangel and Yataghan.

Jet Master

Jet Master – 2000 Gr1 Cape Flying Championship winner

The brilliant Jet Master won the race in 2000 and his magnificent daughter Fly By Night looks set to emulate her illustrious Dad on Saturday when she takes on the boys in the hands of Bernard Fayd’herbe.

The ill-fated longstanding SA Champion sire Jet Master was the undisputed king among the milers, but used the 2000 Cape Flying Championship to prove that, given the right programme, he could also have been one of our greatest sprinters.

Owned by Henry and Pat Devine, the huge entire had continued to blossom after switching from the care of Tony Millard to Geoff Woddruff and facing an assembly of the Cape’s best sprinters, he started at 7-10 for the 2000 Cape Flying Championship and lifted eyebrows in the grandstand as he took them on at their own game.

Anton Marcus who rode Jet Master that day, returns from his recent thumb injury to partner Charles Laird’s Normanz on Saturday.

For fans of the three classy female Gr1 runners in Fly By Night, Alboran Sean and Carry On Alice, that take on the ten males on Saturday, the past record of the girls will make for happy reading.

Via Africa wins the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville on 13-05-25

Via Africa – won in 2013

Var’s champion daughter Via Africa won the race last year, while yet another Var star in Val De Ra won it two years prior to that.

The Australian-bred Laisserfaire won the race in consecutive years in 2001 and 2002.

In earlier years, Alec Soteriadis trained the Scott Brothers bred Leta under John Garcia to win in 1970.

It was to be eleven years before the fillies would strike again.

Mike Bass, who really has an outstanding win and place record in this Gr1 showpiece saddled the brilliant Sweet Chestnut to win the race in 1981.

Paarl based Glen Kotzen sent out Nobely Born in 1997.

The Honour Roll:

2014 Via Africa

2013   What A Winter

2012  Val De Ra

2011  What A Winter

2010  Warm White Night

2009  Rebel King

2008  O Caesour

2007 Mythical Flight

2006       Nhlavini

2005       Nhlavini

2004       Tobe Or Nottobe

2003       Eli’s Game

2002       Laisserfaire

2001       Laisserfaire

2000       Jet Master

1999       Cordocelli

1998       Cordocelli

1997       Nobely Born

1996       Flobayou

1995       Flobayou

1994       Best Of The Best

1993       Signor Amigo

1992       Signor Amigo

1991       Alnwick

1990       Simonside

1989       Springing Leopard

1988       Wexford Boy

1987       (Equine Flu)

1986       Lord Randolph

1985       Tucaman

1984       Green Silver

1983       Foreign Ambassador

1981       War Ribbon

1981       Sweet Chestnut

1980       Tucson

1979       Lovely Rhythm

1978       Monastery

1977       Free Enterprise

1976       Free Enterprise

1975       Sentinel

1974       Sentinel

1973       Sentinel

1972       Captain Bell

1971       Prairie Prince

1970       Leta

1969       Benzol

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