It was a much better effort from Team Captain on Saturday at Flemington in Race 2 the Benchmark 78 and the ultimate goal of this campaign remains the Adelaide Cup over 3200m on March 11.
He’s a healthy, happy horse who showed that he still wants to be in the contest and race. While it would have been better to finish closer to the winner he did hit the line well.
Officially, Team Captain finished 8th beaten 5.2 lengths by the winner One Last Kiss and he remains on an Adelaide Cup path.
TOUGH FROM THE START
Obviously the idea pre-race was to be midfield or better but from that bad gate with a short run to the first turn at Flemington it was always going to be tricky from barrier 11.
“If we wanted to go with that speed on the inside we would have been stuck 8 wide so Tatum did what she had to do and went back.
At the 1400m we had to make our move but that didn’t happen. So it became a sit and sprint and we all know that Team Captain simply can’t sprint like some of the other horses”
There was plenty to like about the run.” said Trainer Matt Cumani.
Apprentice jockey Tatum Bull claimed 2kgs and found herself further back in the field than she wanted to be.
But she greeted owners post-race with a big smile and was positive about the effort.
“There’s a lot of merit to this run.
We obviously did things a little differently, from the gates there was plenty of speed on the inside and if we went forward we were probably going to get caught wide. So I had to go back and they simply put the brakes on which made it hard.” Tatum said.
“There’s plenty to like about the run” Trainer Matt Cumani
Tatum explained to owners and Cumani post-race that Team Captain was at his strongest going to the line.
“He seemed to have pulled up well and if anything he was difficult to pull up and wanted to go around again.
“He’s a happy boy,” Tatum said.
It’s a sentiment that Cumani agrees with.
“I still have faith in the horse, he still wants to do it, he’s just not a superstar and he is getting older. But he can still perform given the right circumstances.” Cumani said.
Talk of any retirement for the Captain is premature at this stage.
“He was difficult to pull up and wanted to go around again” Jockey Tatum Bull
Well, the Adelaide Cup is still 6 weeks away, so Matt will find another race in between for Team Captain.
“What he needs now is 3200m with the speed on up front. Where he can get rolling early and work his way into it and keep going on with it.
“I think the 3200m of the Adelaide Cup should be perfect and we should carry on and continue to work towards that.”
Team Captain did earn $2,600 for coming 8th, and that could prove the difference between winning or losing 2nd place in Month 3 where one owner could be winning $5,000, every race and every point is vital in Season 3 of The Racing League, and remember, one owner from the team crowned Season Premiers will win $50,000!
You just never know.. in the meantime we keep calm & carry on to the Adelaide Cup with The Captain where we will no doubt make more magic memories together. Go you good thing!