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FORMER champion sire Captain Al has made a dazzling start to the 2016-2017 racing season, and the winners continued to flow thick and fast for the eight times champion 2yo sire this past weekend.

The former Cape Guineas winner was represented by no fewer than four winners on a busy weekend –highlighted by Celtic Captain’s courageous win in Friday night’s Listed Michaelmas Handicap.

The latter became Captain Al’s 72nd individual stakes winner when picking the R150 000 feature at Greyville on Friday night and took his tally of victories to four with a half length win over the classy Ashton Park.

Bred by Pat Devine, and owned by Brian Burnard, Celtic Captain provided new trainer Gareth Van Zyl with the first feature race of his career with Gareth enjoying a 100% strike rate on the evening.

Another son of Captain Al to put up a good showing in a weekend feature was former Derby winner Captain Splendid. The latter ran on strongly for second place in the G3 Betting World Algoa Cup –pushing his earnings to over R466 000 in the process, and the Fred Crabbia owned Captain Splendid looks sure to pick up more good races during the season ahead.

Captain Al, recently responsible for a graded double at Durbanville, was also responsible for Friday’s 4.75 length winner French Captain, the impressive Captain Courteous (who made it three wins on the bounce when scoring at Kenilworth on Saturday) and Captains Slipper, who won picked up the fifth  win of his career when scoring for Mayfair Speculators on Algoa Cup day.

South Africa’s dominant sire of two-year-old talent, Captain Al has four lots on offer at the upcoming CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale –

Lot 182 – a full brother to 2 winners, this colt has a real stallion’s pedigree. Out of a three time winning daughter of one of Danehill’s greatest sons (Rock Of Gibraltar), he hails from the same family as the legendary Danehill as well, not to mention top sires Halo and Machiavellian –and, arguably history’s greatest sire of all, Northern Dancer

Lot 183 –bred on the same Captain Al/Caesour cross as ill-fated G1 winner Emerald Cove, this colt (a half brother to 2 winners) is out of a stakes placed winner of seven and hails from the same family as champions Harry Hotspur and Kiss Of Peace

Lot 215 –bred on the reverse cross as multiple stakes winner Door Of Deception, this filly is out of the G3 winner Success Counts, and her second dam, by very successful Australian sire Scenic, was runner up in the Oaks. She traces back directly in female line to one of the greatest mares in the stud book –Selene, whose offspring included Epsom Derby winner and six times champion sire Hyperion.

Lot 288 – bred to be anything, this colt is out of a G3 daughter by triple Australian champion sire and proven G1 broodmare sire Redoute’s Choice. From the family of outstanding Aussie sprinter Hay List, this colt’s relatives also include former South African star Mythical Play.

Photo: Celtic Captain (Gareth van Zyl – Warren Kennedy), a winner at Greyville.