The Richelieu Guineas, a pivot of the Cape summer season, is a race of the future; the J&B Metropolitan Stakes, another, a race of the present. For while the Guineas holds out the hope of revealing some new star to brighten racing for the next few years, the Metropolitan can offer only what is known already.
Thus the Guineas is spiced with anticipation and this year was no exception with the unbeaten Model Man and Argentine-breds filly and colt, Ecurie and Potomac, in the line-up. Speculation in the weeks before the race was considerable
As always, the pace was on from the break. Harrington was the first to show with Roberts sending Sea Warrior past him after covering 300m. He gave Sea Warrior a slight breather and then sent him clear on the bend with Harrington, Penny Chocolate, On The Side, Ecurie, Playing For Time and Potomac in pursuit.
Sea Warrior had a lead of several lengths turning for home and the field had to make up the leeway into a rocketing southeaster - no easy task. Harrington, Penny Chocolate and Playing For Time were the first to fade and it was left to Ecurie and Potomac to challenge, with Classic Boy also making up ground. It soon became apparent that Potomac was not going well enough to be a threat, but over the final 150m Ecurie was closing the gap fast and it took all Roberts's prowess to keep the tiring Sea Warrior going to hold her to three-quarters of a length.
Marshall saddled Sea Warrior for Messrs S Norton, D Nel and A W Thomas. A bargain buy at R18.000 at the 1984 National Yearling Sales, he has now won R180.550 from four wins and five places in 12 starts, Sea Warrior was bred by Koster Bros, by Complete Warrior out of the Savonarola mare Carpathia, a winner of four races and a full-sister to the well-performed Fast and Fit and Big Sky. It was a superb display of riding by Roberts, whose fifth Guineas winner it was, and a triumph for trainer Vaughan Marshall, whose first season at the Cape it was, and who made no secret of his confidence in Sea Warrior in the week before the race - a confidence which was boosted further when the southeaster came up.
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