EIGHT well accomplished runners took each other on in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1400m at Kenilworth on Saturday, in various stages of big-race preparation. Brett Crawford’s smart Edict Of Nantes came out well on top, beating his three stablemates Sail South, Captain America and Black Cat Back into second, third and fourth.

Visiting jockey Piere Strydom, who received a “call-up” from Derek Brugman of Mayfair Speculators to ride Edict Of Nantes, commented: “When I saw him in the ring I thought he carried a little tummy but that was fine considering his layoff. Some of his previous jockeys said he was a bit lazy but when he cantered down with me he was keen.

“We were trapped wide, but Edict Of Nantes was always travelling and it was just a question of when he was going to get there.  He couldn’t win at the weights, so he must have improved a lot,” Strydom assessed.

Trainer Brett Crawford confirmed: “Edict Of Nantes is much more mature and focusing better. People should take note of how good this field was. Three of my first four are Gr1 winners, the fourth ran out of his skin. Edict Of Nantes is going to keep improving.”

The unplaced runners were all within 1.75 and 6.25-lengths of the winner, all needing the run and African Night Sky (5th), caught the eye as one that’s not far off his own best form.

Klawervlei-bred Edict Of Nantes is six from 14, on the up and all things point to a big Cape season for the son of Count Du Bois.