Stars and Captain shine

Stars and Captain shine


Seeking the Stars kept his perfect 1400m record intact when winning the Grade 3 Matchem Stakes at Durbanville on Saturday in a forceful display of front-running.

He was expertly piloted by Anton Marcus, getting across adeptly from draw No 11, and then sustaining a strong gallop to outpoint stablemate Silver Operator in the weight-for-age showdown. Sole three-year-old Cosmic Highway moved up menacingly down the inner but could not quite go through with his effort, eventually clocking in a discouraged third.

Victorious trainer Vaughan Marshall declared: “Seeking the Stars is a pleasure to train, shows top speed and Anton rode a superb race – it’s not easy to overcome wide draws in quality fields.”

For his part, Marcus stated: “Any draw can be overcome – it’s just how economically you do it. Seeking the Stars is so genuine, it’s testimony to his courage that he dug down so deep.”

Silver Operator ran a big race in second, just 0.50 lengths adrift of his high-class adversary. He’s battled with physical issues so mixes his form but showed that he too is extremely smart over the 1400m trip, where his record reads five starts, three victories and now this sterling second.

Hot favourite, Captains Ransom justified a cramped odds-on price when opening her Cape Summer campaign with a fluent victory in the Diana Stakes (Grade 3) over 1400m. She accelerated sharply to beat stablemate Major Attraction with Marmalisa’s rails run good enough for third place ahead of Marina, a middle-distance performer who was unsuited by the slow early pace.

Captain Ransom’s finest attribute is the remarkable speed at which she can quicken, and she duly blasted home for a convincing score after initial leader Major Attraction had tried to go all the way.  “She switches off behind horses and can turn it on when in the clear. She’s really special and proven in Group 1’s. She can be hot-headed and get a bit jumpy, but still always gives 100%, ” jockey Richard Fourie said.

Trainer Justin Snaith admitted he made a mistake running Captain’s Ransom in the Garden Province Stakes despite her being sick after a training setback in Durban. “I take the blame for that defeat – she probably should not have run there – just pleased that she is coming back to best. This win confirms a recent gallop when she beat Major Attraction by a similar margin.”

Captain’s Ransom is a four-year-old Captain Al filly out of Cinnas Ransom, that has won seven of nine starts. She is a towering talent who will be very hard to beat in races at the highest level up to 1600m. Last term she won the Cape Fillies Guineas, Majorca Stakes and SA Fillies Guineas and there is a high probability that she will build on this stylish Matchem success and add to her already glittering resume over the next few months.


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