Malmoos kept his undefeated record intact by winning the Avontuur Estate Concorde Cup over 1600m at Kenilworth, but knew he was in a race for the first time as Linebacker kept him honest all the way up the home straight.
Mike de Kock’s Captain Al colt jumped well from his pole position gate, and settled in a handy position as outsider My Bestie went off to set a moderate gallop, closely followed by Malmoos and Linebacker, who had come over from a wide draw.
But there were only two in it over the final 400m.
Malmoos swiftly put his head in front, and always looked to have the measure of his ultra-game opponent. And despite hanging out in the latter stages he went on to win by a workmanlike half-a-length.
Luckless Linebacker finished runner up in a Graded race for the third successive time.
Rascallion ran on strongly for third from a hopeless position, and will love the summer course with its longer run-in.
“He still has a long way to go, and the penny hasn’t dropped yet,” said Mike de Kock immediately post-race.
“On form he will need to improve to win the Guineas, as Vaughan Marshall has a nice line with the runner up.”
(Marshall’s Seeking The Stars defeated Linebacker by a n easy 1,25 lengths in the Cape Classic a month back, before winning the CTS RTR race by a runaway margin just over half an hour before)
“He will stay down here now with Brett Crawford before having a crack at the Guineas,” concluded the champion trainer.