The Vaughan Marshall-trained Linebacker (25-11 favourite) proved his class when following his G1 Cape Derby success in February, with a win in Sunday’s WSB G2 KZN Guineas.
He raced home half-a-length clear of stablemate Seeking The Stars, with a further two lengths to Kommetdieding, but won with a bit in hand and the Marshall stable will be looking forward with anticipation to the rest of the KZN Champions Season.
Seeking The Stars set a good pace, with Tread Swiftly, Bartholdi and MK’s Pride in pursuit, and Linebacker midfield, seven lengths off. Linebacker had plenty of work to do to fetch Seeking The Stars in the straight, but he did so with consummate ease, to the extent that jockey Grant van Niekerk looked over his shoulder before he had even reached the front!
“He is one of a kind, with an amazing temperament,” Van Niekerk said after the race. “There was a bit of bumping going on and he showed his character. He quickened instantaneously and I had to wait a while. I think he will stay all day.”
Marshall said: “It’s a big weight off one’s shoulders when a plan comes together. Linebacker is a special horse, he switches off and nothing fazes him.”
Linebacker, a R425,000 buy from the 2019 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, is by Klawervlei’s rising top sire Captain Of All from Thin Red Line by Redoute’s Choice. He has earned R949,000 for owners Ken and Jane Truter, and Cheryl Gabler.