Cherokee Grey looks his main rival
It is amazing how just one piece of equipment can turn around the form of a horse. Yankee Captain is a perfect example of this.
Sean Tarry’s charge started his career in style, winning two of his first four starts and following those up with three consecutive seconds. After he finished unplaced behind Front Rank over 1600m at the Vaal in his next start, the decision was taken to have him gelded. He came back in October last year and followed two unplaced efforts with another two second placings.
After that Tarry opted to fit a set of blinkers and that seemed to let the light in for this four-year-old son of Captain Al. He has had two runs with the blinkers and won them both. What did not change was this fellow’s liking for the distance of 1400m. Other than his maiden victory, which was over 1200m, his other three victories have been over 1400m. In eight starts over the trip he has also run second three times and finished fourth on one other occasion.
He lines up again over his favourite distance in Race 6 at the Vaal tomorrow in a MR 80 Handicap on the Outside track. He teams up once again with regular jockey S’manga Khumalo and they look to be the best bet on the card.
Another runner who enjoys this distance is Cherokee Grey. He can run on his day but overall has disappointed. He is only a two-time winner from 14 starts but has to give 1kg to a four-time winner in Yankee Captain.
Apprentice Calvin Ngcobo takes the ride for the Alec Laird yard and he has done well aboard the son of Greys Inn. However, he was not on board the day he won last November but he has ridden him four times for three second-place finishes.
Golden Man looked to be the perennial bridesmaid when running second nine times before being able to win his maiden but he has remained a consistent performer.
He has won another two since and overall in his career has 35 runs for 15 second places, four thirds and six fourths and his earnings of R575,125 exceeds all but Amsterdam of the runners in this line-up.
In fairness, 75% of the stakes won by Amsterdam is made up of the R400,000 he won when finishing second to French Navy in the 2015 Grade 1 SA Classic.