RACE caller Alistair Cohen described “two races going on” when Golden Shamrock and Desert Chief went in the region of 15 lengths clear of a 12-horse bunch including all the fancied runners in Saturday’s Listed East Cape Derby over 2400m at Fairview.

In the end there was a third race going on. A one-horse race. When the front-runners had cried enough, the favourite American Landing swept through with an amazing finish under Richard Fourie. It looked like he had been dropped by helicopter at the 150m-mark. His finish was breath-taking and powerful and he put nearly six lengths between himself and the runner-up within a few seconds.

If one were to judge on the naked eye, American Landing has Grade 1 winner written all over him. He has the pedigree, action and composure of a special horse. It’s too easy to get carried away, of course, and trainer Brett Crawford cautioned: “It’s hard to gauge a performance like this when the average merit rating of the field was 79. But I agree, he was impressive. He’s by Dynasty and he’s a horse that will come into his own as a four-year-old. We’ll put him in the KZN Derby next, we’d like to see how he goes there before we see if he’s ready for anything big.”

American Landing landing was bred from Michael De Broglio’s prolific champion mare Sabina Park, by Sportsworld. He’s a full-brother to last week’s Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes winner Sabina’s Dynasty and a half-brother to dual Gr1 Summer Cup winner Master Sabina.

It’s all there on paper and so far at the track for American Landing, who races for Delma and Lance Sherrell. He’s 2 from 5, improving with every run and we look forward to seeing how his career develops.

Photo by Pauline Herman.



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