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Captain Bombshell causes a 66/1 upset in the Marula Sprint on Sunday at Hollwyoodbets Scottsville (Candiese Lenferna Photography)

The Garth Puller-trained Captain Of All gelding Captain Bombshell stamped himself as a Gr 1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint candidate when winning the Non-Black Type Marula Sprint over the course and distance of that race at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday, considering he beat the top class 125 merit-rated Corne Spies-trained speedster William Robertson by 0,90 lengths despite receiving only 4,5kg.

Captain Bombshell was officially 7,5kg under sufferance with William Robertson and paid R63 for a win on the Tote, but the performance did not surprise Puller.

He said, “It was very hard to see him beating the favourite, the favourite was handicapped to win.”

Spies has taken advantage of the conditions of certain KZN races this season and was out to score a third successive victory at Hollywoodbets Scottsville, the previous two in Pinnacles Stakes races where he was as well weighted as Sunday.

Puller continued, “However, you must remember Captain Bombshell beat Royal Aussie, who ran third in the King’s Plate this year, and he also finished fourth in the Gr 1 Gold Medallion as a two-year-old.”

Captain Bombshell was bought out of the Peter Muscutt yard by Mauritius-based owner R Chintalloo at the beginning of this season. He was only having his second career start when Muscutt sent him out to run a 3,60 length fourth to Thunderstruck in the Gr 1 Gold Medallion. A few runs later at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, running off a 95 merit rating, Captain Bombshell received only 1,5kg from Royal Aussie over 1200m and beat him by 1,25 lengths on 7 December 2022. Then on Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge day last year, he won the Non-Black Type SABC Sport Durban Dash over 1100m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville turf by 0,30 lengths off a 100 merit rating, when receiving only 2kg from the usefulo runner up, the Gareth van Zyl-trained Money Heist.

So the form was there for everybody to see and Puller added, “I told my clients my best runner on the day was Captain Bombshell. I said it was hard to see him beating the favourite, but that he is a big runner. The owner phoned me from Mauritius and asked ‘can I have a fun bet on him’ and I replied ‘you definitely must have a fun bet, he’s well’. When your horse is well, you must let them worry about you, you mustn’t worry about them. You don’t know how their horse traveled down, you don’t know how their horse is doing, you don’t know how the form of their stable is, you only know your horse is eating well and working well. So that is why I thought he had a chance … at the weights I could not see him beating Spies’ horse, but he won a nice race. He was very well, he looked well. Last time was a good run, Calvin Habib rode him and he said to me if he had got a run in the last 150m he would have been right there and then he came on from that run too. The kid (Siphesihle Hlengwa) rode a good race.”

Captain Bombshell pinged the gates from draw eleven of eleven and Hlengwa, being in the lead, was able to drift over to the perceived better going towards the inside.

Captain Bombshell strode out beautifully and stayed in front through his natural pace.

Hlengwa began niggling at him at the 400m mark and he went further ahead. He drew the stick just after the 200m mark and five rhythmical backhanders were all that was required to keep him going.

The Michael Roberts-trained Sun Blushed ran on strongly for a 1,60 length third at level weights if Rachel Venniker’s 1,5kg claim is taken into account.

The Carl Hewitson-trained Pray For Rain ran a good two length fourth, considering he was giving Captain Bombshell 4,5kg, and fifth-placed Passage Of Power, who was beaten 2,70 lengths receiving 3kg from the winner, is one to watch in a handicap next time as he is merit rated only 91.

Puller said he would take it race by race with Captain Bombshell, but admitted he would take his chances in the Golden Horse Sprint if able to qualify.

Ishnana also ran yesterday, having won for the eleventh time in his career in his previous start at the age of nine.

Garth said this old soldier was given some relief from the handicapper which had seen him come down from a 104 rating to 81 and this had allowed him to be competitive again. He said the Al Miqdaam gelding kept his condition well, but was at his best in rain softened ground.

Garth said he had 65 horses at present, but there were about ten who were ready to be retired or sold and he did not believe he had a chance of retaining his KZN Trainers championship.

Championships have never interested him and he did say the same towards the end of last season, but still won it.

The KZN Trainers championship is most intriguing this season and the top ten in the standings after Sunday’s meeting were (wins during the season in KZN): Mike Miller 26; Garth Puller, Wendy Whitehead 25; Gareth van Zyl 24; Alyson Wright 23; Peter Muscutt 22; Louis Goosen 20; Duncan Howells 19; Michael Roberts 15; Frank Robinson 14.