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Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate Kasimir has all but secured the 2018/19 Equus Champion Sprinter title. Justin Snaith’s high quality galloper drew on his class and fought hard to win Saturday’s Gr1 Mercury Sprint under Richard Fourie, posting his seventh win from only 16 starts.

The Mercury Sprint often decides the winner in the Equus Sprinter category, and with the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship also in the bag for the season, Kasimir is likely to be honoured at the Equus Awards Banquet on 13 August.

Kasimir was well placed turning for home on the heels of Celtic Sea and Palace Chapel. At the 300m, Celtic Sea was challenged strongly by Palace Chapel, as Fourie shook the reins on Kasimir, who darted to the inside rail and had a fight on his hands with the pace-setting pair.

In a thrilling final 150m, Fourie cajoled Kasimir (19-10) with a few left-handed strikes as the gelding put his head down and powered to the line – getting the better of the Celtic Sea by a half-length in a time of 71,24 secs.

“When you sit on Kasimir he feels like a miler, it feels like he’s cantering, that’s how classy it is. He’s a phenomenal horse, a champion. We were just off them, but the gap near the rail was big enough and he kept getting closer. He’s just wonderful, easy to ride.”

Snaith said: “We decided to bring him to Durban at the last minute. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. My farrier Robbie Dawson did a phenomenal job with Kasimir this week.”

Another Gr1 winner on the day bred by Drakenstein Stud, Kasimir is a son of deceased champion sire Captain Al (Al Mufti) and is out of the top-class Gr1 producing three-time winner Aquatint (Peintre Celebre).

Kasimir races for W P Drew & Bernard Kantor, Mesdames A M Doyle, Diane Nagle & Paul Shanahan.