Though he died in July 2017, Captain Al still influences SA racing, with his progeny’s exploits keeping the former champion in the limelight.
At the end of the first five months of the new season, Captain Al was the leading sire by stakes with his offspring earning R6.28m. His closest pursuer is Silvano with R6 m.
One of Captain Al’s daughters, All At Once, has a good chance of notching the third win of her career when she contests the R150,000 Swallow Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
All At Once was bought for R80,000 as a yearling from Varsfontein Stud and the threeyear-old is looking a bargain at that price.
There is little to choose between All At Once and her recent conqueror, Mighty High.
They met over Saturday’s course and distance in December when Johan Janse van Vuuren’s filly came out on top by three-quarters of a length.
Gavin Lerena, who has won on Mighty High, is back in the saddle but Craig Zackey will be out to prevent Mighty High posting a fourth win.
Sean Tarry saddles three runners in Saturday’s race and the booking of Lyle Hewitson for Three Stars suggests the Seventh Rock filly is the stable elect. The filly has won two of her five starts.
Three Stars’s stablemate Vid a Es Bella could take a hand in the finish as there was lots to like about her recent maiden win.
Dhabyaan makes plenty of appeal in the sixth race.
Dhabyaan should start at attractive odds as he is opposed by some useful sorts, including D’Arrivee, Norland, Life Is Good and King’s Archer.
Candice Dawson will be expecting a big effort from D’Arrivee, who has run well in each of his five starts this term.
Chris Erasmus will fancy the chances of his four-year-old Norland turning the tables on Dhabyaan on 1.5kg better terms, but the De Kock inmate should be cherry-ripe in his third start.
The first race on the Turffontein card sees some choicely bred juveniles face the starter, including Masaaqaat, a daughter of Snitzel, who cost R9.9m as a yearling.
Two other interesting firsttimers are Ta r r y ’s filly Cavivar, a daughter of Var out of the eighttime winner Control Freak, and Captain Of Colour, a daughter of Captain Al. Add in Tobie Spies’s new comer Waimea and there is all the ingredients for a fascinating race.