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.