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Brett Crawford’s gallant Captain America produced a vintage effort to run another top-class field off its feet in the WSB Champions Cup over 1800m, his fourth Gr1 success. He started at 10-1, with stable companion Undercover Agent at 4-1 and Glen Kotzen’s Eyes Wide Open (2-1) the favourite in an open-looking contest.

With Captain America in full stride soon after the jump, Undercover Agent went in pursuit, followed by Crowd Pleaser, Perovskia, Tap O’ Noth and another Crawford runner, Sail South.

In the straight, with 500m to the line, Captain America was still full of running and there was little sign of anything catching him. And they didn’t. He won by two lengths with Undercover Agent, Eyes Wide Open and Tap O’ Noth in a line for the minor placings.

Captain America, a R500,000 purchase from the CTS Ready To Run Sale, beat another CTS graduate Undercover Agent into second, completing a Gr1 CTS, Brett Crawford and Captain Al exacta.

Jockey Corne Orffer said afterwards that Captain America was the best horse he had ever ridden. The jockey, who knows the best way to win on the big gelding – letting him roll with his huge gallop – got to the front soon after the start and pulled out a three-length lead.

Captain America was bred at Varsfontein. He has won 10 times from 35 starts for Delma Sherrell, Diane Nagle and Adam Gurney and his earnings have edged over R6 million. The connections announced that he would be retired.

Crawford, who won three Gr1’s in the 2018 SA Champions Season, has done an outstanding job with the big gelding. He also has an obvious affinity with the Champions Cup, having won the end of season Gr1 four times in the past five years – and repeated his exacta feat of last year.