The Captain’s In Command

Gareth van Zyl strikes at Greyville

Young trainer Gareth van Zyl celebrated his first career feature success with Celtic Captain in the 2016 Listed Michaelmas Handicap in October and the gelding confirmed his popular status with a smart score in Sunday’s R120 000 umThomboti Stakes at Greyville.

Warren Kennedy has Celtic Captain in command as Persian Rug (Marco van Rensburg) chases hard

The non black-type event may not hold much sway in the bigger scheme of things but owner Brian Burnard will be thrilled to have banked the generous R75 0000 first cheque as the 4yo produced a clinically correct display to demolish his five rivals in good style.

The win also showed that Celtic Captain stays the 2000m and his improved form curve suggests, despite him beating little of note, that we may see him around for a few SA Champions Season features in the months ahead.

Gareth van Zyl (photo: Gold Circle)

Gareth van Zyl – lovely feature winner

Let’s not forget that he was regarded classic material last season – and he now seems to be repaying the faith shown in him earlier on.

Jumping at 8-10 in the small field, Warren Kennedy had Celtic Captain relaxed a few lengths back in fourth as Serissa made the pace.

Into the home run Serissa continued to stride out well in front, as Kennedy starting cutting back the 7yo’s lead.

Celtic Captain came forward powerfully at the 250m to take control as it was left to the filly Persian Rug to chase.

Into the 100m, Celtic Captain had responded smartly to two cracks from Kennedy and he went on to hold the De Kock filly by a half length in a time of 122,88 secs.

The pacemaker Serissa stayed on a further 1,25 lengths back in third.

Celtic Captain has won 5 races with 7 places from 18 starts and stakes of R469 375.

He was a R300 000 graduate of the 2014 Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale.

Bred by Patricia Devine Investments, the son of Captain Al is out of the twice-winning Royal Chalice mare, Celtic Chalice, who won her races from 2000m to 2400m.

Anthony Delpech was the most successful jockey on the day with a winning double.

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