Trainer Vaughan Marshall made it a quick graded race double when he sent out top-class gelding Linebacker to win the G1 Daily News 2000 (2000m) at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday afternoon.

It was a tremendous day for Marshall –not only did he win graded races with Black Knap and Linebacker, he also trains Daily News runner up Rascallion.

A good winner of the G1 Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby and G2 World Sports Betting Guineas in his last two starts, the Klawervlei Stud bred Linebacker was sent off favourite for Saturday’s Daily News 2000 (traditionally a good pointer to the G1 Vodacom Durban July later in the season).

The son of Captain Of All was given a patient ride from Grant Van Niekerk, as long shots Shah Akbar and Infinite Wonder went out to set the pace.

Van Niekerk bought Linebacker with a sustained run down the outside of the course, and, despite drifting across the track, the pair stayed on to score by nearly three-parts of a length.

Linebacker’s stablemate Rascallion came from the clouds to snatch second place from Kommetdieding, with the latter appearing to have no excuses back in third.

Now the leading contender for this season’s Equus Champion 3YO Colt/Gelding Award, Linebacker claimed his third graded win in a time of 123.84 seconds.

The gelding has now won four of just eight starts (Linebacker is yet to finish out of the top two) for earnings of R1 417 750.

A R425 000 buy from the 2019 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Linebacker is out of the smart Redoute’s Choice mare Thin Red Line. The latter, a three-parts sister to G1 ATC Winx Stakes winner Samadoubt, won twice over 1000m and was runner up in both the G3 Fillies Mile and Listed Swallow Stakes.

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