Six-year-old Vikram defied a lengthy layoff when downing a top-class field of sprinters to win the G2 Cape Merchants (1200m) at Kenilworth on Saturday.

One of three runners in the race for trainer Andre Nel and owner Sabine Plattner, Vikram was making his first start since winning at Kenilworth back in February.

The Gimmethegreenlight gelding, who had done a tendon last time out, caused his connections some uneasy moments, when a vet had to inspect him prior to the off of Saturday’s sprint, but, given the all-clear, Vikram (50-1) went on to land the biggest race of his career thus far.

Sandile Mbhele gave Vikram a superbly timed ride, with Mbhele bringing his mount with a late thrust late on to get up and win, going away, by nearly half a length.

Bereave (10-1) went close to providing his inform sire Vercingetorix with a second graded winner on Saturday by taking second spot, with the previously unbeaten Captain Fontane not disgraced back in third spot.

Bred by Lammerskraal Stud, Vikram claimed Saturday’s first place prize of R109 375 in a time of 72.06 seconds.

Vikram was a R675 000 buy from the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale and he is the 39th stakes winner for South Africa’s reigning champion sire Gimmethegreenlight (pictured above).

The well bred Vikram is the first stakes winner produced by the Western Winter sired four time winner, and G3 Prix du Cap runner up, Vermilion -a full-sister to G1 winners Nania and Red Ray.