by | Jun 15, 2017

Article courtesy of Sporting Post: Phillipi trainer Brett Crawford maintained his dream SA Champions Season run at Greyville on Saturday when he won his third Gr1 in a week from his 20 strong Summerveld string.

The victory of the 6yo Captain America, who ground his opposition into submission in the R1 million Rising Sun Gold Challenge, was a major boost to Crawford’s aspirations to win his first July.

The decision to bring Captain America back to KZN after a three year absence looks to be paying dividends for Crawford and the Varsfontein Stud-bred gelding’s second Gr1 win and his first Greyville victory will be an important confidence booster in advance of the son of Captain Al’s second bid to win the July three weeks from now. (subsequent to printing of this article Captain America was withdrawn from the Durban July)

Captain-America wins Gold Challenge 02

Captain America powers on to win the Gr 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge


The Crawford string under the experienced eye of Peter Muscutt, who departs for Singapore in September, has been firing on all cylinders and after their Gr1 double at the same venue last Saturday it appears that they can do little wrong at the moment.

In a field which incorporated eight July hopefuls, the charismatic Captain America’s workmanlike showing was all so simple in the end.

Corne Orffer was happy to follow the recent Daisy Guineas winner Janoobi all the way around, and when he went for home at the top of the straight, it was to be the last time his opponents would see him.

Captain America galloped relentlessly out front and held his advantage of 1,50 lengths to the line to win in a time of 96,22 secs.

Last year’s ‘runner-up’ Trip To Heaven lost plenty of ground at the start as usual, but came home impressively to bank the second cheque, holding off the grey Bela-Bela, who ran on well for third.

The winner’s stablemate Sail South stayed on for fourth ahead of the outsider Bulleting Home (2,75 lengths in fifth).

Last year’s July winner The Conglomerate got a run after the scratching of Deo Juvente and ran a pleasing July trial to finish a 3,75 length sixth.

Saratoga Dancer was always in touch but looked uncomfortable under a pushing ride and he ran a one-paced seventh.

The Marinaresco supporters may also be a little disappointed after the Drill Hall Stakes winner could only manage eleventh (6,35 lengths off) after appearing to have every chance.

Sean Tarry’s dual Gr1 winner French Navy ran 17 lengths back in a poor July prep.

The pacemaker Janoobi also failed to impress, finishing 42 lengths back.

There are few more genuine horses in training than Captain America, who took his earnings to R4 885 925 at his ninth win with 15 places from 28 starts.

Captain-America lead in Gold Challenge

He was a R400 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, and was re-sold for R500 000 at the Ready To Run Sale 8 months later.

The Varsfontein Stud bred gelding is a son of the outstanding Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the five-time winning Requista(Fort Wood).

Crawford has a strong July hand, with Gr1 Daily News 2000 winner Edict Of Nantes rounding off his two-pronged attack.