Wolf Power winner Captain Aldo stamped himself a serious contender for the Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes when he sealed the verdict in a thrilling three-corned finish to win the R400 000 Gr2 Hawaii Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
The good to soft underfoot conditions added a tricky testing element to the quality 1400m feature and with the fancied Ice Machine and Trip To Heaven hesitating at the start, the race was thrown wide open. Three ‘stars’ lead the early gallop – Andrew Fortune had Talktothestars in front, ahead of Lazer Star and Winter Star, and this tongue-twister created a mini nightmare for commentator Alistair Cohen, with the pace a mixed one. The favourite Ice Machine was relaxed at the rear, with Trip To Heaven a length ahead of him on the rail. The ten horse field fanned out with attacks coming from all sides at the 400m marker as the first cheque looked anybody’s for the taking. With the 4yo filly Lazer Star accelerating impressively down the centre, and Ice Machine taking his time to find his pitch down the outside, it was the top-class heavyweight Bernard Fayd’herbe who had Captain Aldo ghosting through down the inside.
In a sprint to the wire, Captain Aldo got the better of the gallant Lazer Star, by a short head in a time of 86,89 secs. Ice Machine was a neck away in third, a head in front of the improved again, Unparalleled, who finished powerfully. Only a half length covered the top four, with Trip To Heaven producing a fairly modest effort after his poor start. He ran 1,75 lengths back in fifth. Captain Aldo races in the interests of St John Gray and well-known Cape restauranteur, Aldo Girolo. He was bred by Boland Stud and is a son of Captain Al out of the three-time winning Elliodor mare, Cuddle Me. Gray has been associated with this family with some success and said that Captain Aldo had shown that he could be close to as good as his brother, Glorious Jet. Next stop the Horse Chestnut!
Eugene Freeman’s Boland Stud has been in tremendous form over the past few weeks, and that Ceres based farm was back in the headlines at Turffontein on Saturday. The Boland Stud bred Captain Aldo, fresh off a victory in the Listed Wolf Power 1600, stamped himself a top contender for the upcoming G1 Horse Chestnut Stakes with a gutsy victory in the G2 Hawaii Stakes –picking up his first graded win in the process.
A son of reigning champion sire Captain Al and the Elliodor mare Cuddle Me, Captain Aldo came with a late rattle down the inside, under a superb ride from Cape jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe, to win the R400 000 event by a short head over top class filly Lazer Star with former G1 Champions Cup runner up Ice Machine back in third. Captain Aldo, who stopped the clock in 86.98 for the 1400m on a somewhat soft track, has now six and earned over R700 000 in prize money.
He is the latest Boland Stud bred to win big –his half brother, and fellow Boland Stud bred star, Glorious Jet (who, ironically, finished second in the Listed Wolf Power 1600) who earned over R750 000 and who finished second to Royal Zulu Warrior, and beating the likes of Yorker, Cherry On The Top and Wagner, in the 2013 G2 Charity Mile.