Captain Al gelding Kasimir staked his claims to the title of Equus Champion Sprinter when he won the G2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.
In the process, the four-year-old picked up his third graded victory of the 2018-2019 season, with the Justin Snaith trained Kasimir having captured the G1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship and G2 Cape Merchants earlier in the season.
However, the 19-10 tote favourite was made to work for victory in Saturday’s 1200m sprint, with Kasimir just holding off a late challenge from 44-1 shot Speedpoint.
The latter, winner of the Listed Southeaster Sprint back in December, went down by just a short head, as Kasimir and Speedpoint fought out a thrilling finish.
The verdict went the way of the Richard Fourie ridden favourite, with Speedpoint finishing a length clear of 3yo Chimichuri Run, who caught the eye with a good effort back in third place.
Speedpoint’s trainer Joey Ramsden enjoyed better luck in Saturday’s other graded feature, where Ramsden sent out last year’s runner up Rose In Bloom to win the G3 Vasco Prix du Cap over 1400 metres.
The daughter of Gimmethegreenlight was picking up the first graded win of her career –not out of turn, with Rose in Bloom having previously been placed in such graded features as the Majorca Stakes, Prix du Cap, Sceptre Stakes and Western Cape Fillies Championship.
Laisserfaire Stakes winner Anime went out to make the running and appeared to be a hard horse to peg back with 200m left to run, but the S’Manga Khumalo ridden Rose In Bloom showed her class when storming home to score a 0.4 of a length win over the front runner, with recent Lady’s Bracelet winner Platinum Class running on for third.
Another favourite to land a feature race on Saturday was Horse Chestnut gelding Pacific Chestnut who narrowly prevailed in the Listed Aeolus Kenilworth Cup, when downing the front running Cedar Man by 0.3 of a length.
He was one of three winners on Saturday for the combination of Candice Bass-Robinson and Aldo Domeyer, who also teamed up to win the second race, with the hugely impressive Trippi filly Vandah’s Spirit, and ninth race with Mercurana.
The latter, an Ideal World half-brother to the stable’s former July winner Marinaresco, caused an 18-1 surprise when holding off Destin to shed his maiden at the fourth time of asking.
Andre Nel and jockey Anthony Andrews teamed up to win Saturday’s Listed Selangor Jet Master Stakes with the 15-1 shot Run Red.
However, perhaps the most impressive performance on the day came when first-timer Captain Of Stealth bolted up on debut to win by five and a half lengths for trainer Vaughan Marshall and jockey MJ Byleveld. Backed down to 6-10 favouritism, the two-year-old son of former Marshall trained Guineas winner Captain Al can hardly have been more impressive and he looks a colt with a bright future.