Linebacker put a run of four successive Graded seconds firmly behind him as he came from well back to defeat stablemate Rascallion and The Gatekeeper in the inaugural Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby.

It was a repetition of the order they had finished in the Cape Guineas. With the missing link being the winner of that race Russian Rock. This time he gave Grant Behr no peace, refusing to settle and pulling himself into the lead. He was a spent force 400m out. 

Rascallion then moved into the primary position, but was quickly challenged by The Gatekeeper, and for a while they looked set to battle it out. But after turning for home about ten lengths off them, Grant van Niekerk expertly produced Linebacker 200m from home, and he strode on purposefully to score by a comfortable length and a half. Completing a Graded treble on the day for his gifted jockey.    

(He went on to round off a great day by also taking the Khaya Stables Work Riders vs Jockeys Maiden Plate on T’Challa)

“I told Mr Marshall I would drop him out. When he hits the front he gets a little lazy, but he’s a real top horse,” said Van Niekerk.

“I had a certain bit of doubt about the 2000m. But there’s a lot more to come from this horse and his potential is scary,” was the closing word from Vaughan Marshall. 



  1. We have enjoyed a wonderful Cape Summer season.
    Through the media we were enlightened by many interesting things that took place especially in the 3 year old sector where Basie and Suzette unleashed a veritable missile, what a signing off for ” The Captain”.
    In the colts sector excitement rose with the unveiling of “The Thing” which captured the imagination of our many lost fans and created a sense of euphoria not witnessed in the Cape for ages. We heard of all the unlucky colts and how they would win the Derby and then go on to the July. The changes in the Cape structures and improvements were highlighted ad nauseum, but as history was unfolding the media were asleep at the wheel.
    Every Graded colts race was won by a colt bred by one Stud Farm except the Concord which Malmoos narrowly beat Linebacker, also bred by the same Stud as all the others.
    It started with Seeking the Stars who won the Classic and the lucrative Sale race. The Guineas was a first and second for the same Stud. The Politician unleashed Kometdieding also bred by same Stud, so on to the Derby.
    The same Stud had 33 1/3 of the entire carded field including the scratched favourite, “The Thing”
    The result provided justice for the unluckiest horse of the year, Linebacker, in my opinion never lost a race on merit and also bred by the same Stud.
    To breed a horse capable of competing at this level must be a proud moment for any breeder, but to have 5 is extraordinary, specially when they all won.
    To close I would like to do what the media failed to do, compliment Klawervlei Stud for creating history, am I surprised they achieved this, not at all.
    Klawervlei can hold their heads up high while the media hangs their heads in shame.
    Old cricket cliché, ” keep your eyes on the ball”


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