Skip to main content

Gold Circle

Vaughan Marshall is happy with his string at Summerveld which is not big but is full of quality.

He said Linebacker (Captain Of All) was “doing well and coming along nicely” and will be starting off in the IOS Drill Hall Stakes.

He will then run in the Grade 1 wfa Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge.

His main mission is undoubtedly the Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Durban July.

He has every chance on paper as things stand.

Off his current 126 merit rating he will receive 1,5kg from 129-rated Kommetdieding, who beat him by half-a-length in last year’s July and by 0,95 lengths in the WSB Met, on both occasions at level weights

The Drill Hall is an ideal race for Marshall’s sprint-miler Seeking The Stars.

However, this Vercingetorix colt is in a race against time to be ready for the May 7 1400m event at Hollywoodbets Greyville. 

Vaughan said, “We had a bit of a setback just before we came here. He fell on the stable floor and injured himself. But he is coming along nicely.”

Vaughan said it would be “touch and go” whether he will be ready in time.

Seeking The Star’s later target will be either the Grade 1 Golden Horse Sprint or the Gold Challenge.

He finished a 2,25 length fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes over 1200m at Kenilworth in his first sprint start since winning his maiden. 

However, Vaughan believes he can do better and elaborated, “We should have let him bowl. We tried to settle him which was the wrong thing to have done.”

The big and progressive Senso Unico (Twice Over) has “been doing well.”

Vaughan views him as a July horse.

He said, “He’s a nice horse, very, very progressive. He’s very big and very strong but we’ve gelded him and he’s settled down now.”

Vaughan’s Grade 1 Gold medallion winner Ambiorix (Vercingetorix) finished 4,35 lengths back in the Grade 2 Cape Merchants in his comeback, five months after his Hollywoodbets Scottsville win.

In his next start he was a 5,50 length sixth in the Diadem.

However, Vaughan does not believe there is any loss of form, and said, “There are no races for three-year-old sprinters. Once you are a Group 1 winner you are hamstrung. He’s doing well and we’ll start him off in the In Full Flight Handicap (Listed event at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on May 1 over 1100m) and see how he goes.”

Ambiorix is currently merit rated 108, so should come into the latter race reasonably weighted considering he is a Grade 1 winner. 

His three-year-old gelding Pineapple Express (Willliam Longsword) could be one to follow as he took seven runs to win his maiden but then did it by 3,25 lengths (over 1600m at Kenilworth). 

Vaughan described him as “progressive” so, considering his merit rating of 79 after that easy win in the strong centre of Cape Town, he could be well handicapped. 

He also described another William Longsword three-year-old gelding The Tinkerman as progressive. He is also merit rated 79 after winning his fourth start over 1200m at Kenilworth by a comfortable 1,25 lengths.  

Vaughan said he also had a few promising two-year-olds but did not see them repeating Ambiorix’s feat as they were “not sprinters, they will go a bit of ground.” 

Picture: Linebacker (Candiese Lenferna).