When Captain Nemo made his debut in August there was a lot of talk surrounding this son of Captain Al. He is a massive specimen who cost R2.4 million as a yearling and came on to the scene with an equally large reputation.
Also having his first run in the same race was Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained New Predator. Weichong Marwing, who rode him that day, was equally bullish about the chances of his mount and the pair vied for favouritism. By the time the starter sent them home it was New Predator who went off at 17-10 with Captain Nemo at 22-10 but it was the latter, with Piere Strydom aboard, who showed all the speed and led all the way to win by 0.75 lengths.
Everyone, including the handicappers, was so impressed with the performance that Captain Nemo was given a 92 merit rating.
It was all downhill from there. He could only manage a fourth place in a three-year-old handicap and then ran a 1.60-length seventh in a Novice Plate.
After that run the connections must have felt Captain Nemo needed a change of scenery and he has now moved to Cape Town and is in the care of Brett Crawford. He makes his Cape debut in a Graduation Plate over 1200m at Kenilworth today and looks quite well treated in the event.
He carries just 56.5kg and is one of the better weighted runners in the eight-horse field. If he has been captivated by his new surroundings and is enjoying the sea air, Captain Nemo could well make a winning debut for Crawford.
The problem for punters is that many of the best-weighted runners are not distance suited and that should further favour Captain Nemo.
The main danger on form looks to be Silicone Valley who has raced five times, all of them over 1200m at Kenilworth, and has a record of two wins and two seconds.