Brett Crawford has had an amazing year, with a number of Grade 1 victories – Whisky Baron in the Sun Met, Edict Of Nantes in the Investec Cape Derby and Daily News 2000 and Captain America in the Rising Sun Gold Challenge.
On Saturday, he added Sail South (17-1) to that Illustrious list as the six-year-old ran past leader Captain America (4-1) over the last 100m and went on to win the World Sports Be ing Champions Cup by 1.25 lengths.
Matador Man (15-1), who lost ground at the start, ran on well for third. Bela-Bela, who was backed to the exclusion of the eld to go o at 5-2, could only manage fourth place, beaten 2.75 lengths.
Crawford had always said Sail South was a massive runner but judging from the be ing nobody seemed to heed his words.
“I thought both these horses were huge runners today,” he said after the race. “I thought Captain (America) was brave in defeat but, on the other hand, I think it’s rewarding that a horse like Sail South gets to get his place in a Group 1.
“He is a model of consistency. Today was his ninth win and he’s never been far behind Captain and he had that 2kg swing today,” commented Crawford.
Disappointment of the race was Vodacom Durban July winner Marinaresco, who was beaten a long way out. The fact that he drifted markedly in the betting from 2-1 to 7-2 indicated that things might not have been too well with the son of Silvano, but this was a day when the track ran fast and horses battled to win from off the pace.
However, assistant trainer to Candice Bass-Robinson, Robert Fayd’Herbe, said Marinaresco had pulled a shoe in the running and the horse had pulled up slightly footsore. However, most horses who ran well in the Vodacom Durban July seemed to fail this weekend, so maybe the long season caught up with them. Marinaresco will be back to fight another day.
Captain America was soon in front and led the field into the straight. Speaking about Sail South, jockey Richard Fourie said: “I wanted to tuck him in, sitting up second or third, and get lots of cover. But things didn’t work out for me. I ended up sitting second behind Captain America and he can do his fractions quite hard.
“While I was still behind him it was a good gallop but I was swinging on for dear life. And when I came into the straight we still had 3.50 lengths to make up. I knew we could get there. All I had to do was get to the finish line first and I rode him patiently and he gave me a good kick when I needed him to.”
The other key feature race on the day was the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m and Nightingale, fourth in the Durban July, went off a hot favourite. But she also failed to quicken and Fort Ember gave trainer Paul Peter his second winner on the card. He earlier won the Listed Avontuur Darley Arabian with Maximizer.