Team Captain Flies the VIC Husslers Flag at Flemington

Nov 8, 2023

The “old boy” that’s Team Captain, (definitely not his trainer Matt Cumani) who was at it again on Tuesday, delivering memories that will last a lifetime for the Vic Husslers. 

To own a runner on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington is everyone’s dream, for the Vic Husslers they have lived that dream for three successive years courtesy of Team Captain. 

Sure it would have been nice if he won the Macca’s Run over 2800m like he did in 2021 but in finishing fifth he was far from disgraced. 

And judging from the big smiles on the faces of all Husslers who made it to the track, got the inside word from Matt, were welcomed into the Flemington mounting yard and cheered on from the owners enclosure it was an experience which will last a lifetime. A

Helluva Barty Racing at Doomben on 28th Oct 2023


“I still think he has a nice race in him sooner rather than later.

“He’s there abouts we just have to get him to find another couple of lengths and get him back winning again and we can do that” jockey Declan Bates said. 

At the current stage of his career Team Captain needs many things to fall into place. 

He needs to jump, he needs pace in the race, but not too much pace, he’s got to get rolling early because he can’t sit and sprint with the opposition but to his credit he always seems to hit the line well. 

“He began okay and landed one out one back. I was happy with the tempo of the race, it felt like a nice even gallop but when some of them started to quicken around me I wasn’t able to go with them and that forced me back to the inside” Bates said.

Bellinger in the stalls pre-race at Bendigo

While I wanted a solid pace having a look at the sectionals they actually went a couple of seconds quicker than the benchmark to the 1200mTrainer Matt Cumani

Bellinger racehorse Vic Husslers


It’s worth keeping in mind that Team Captain was jumping up to 2800m second-up and will only improve. 

Trainer Matt Cumani certainly hasn’t lost faith in Team Captain delivering more thrills for the Vic Husslers. 

“He is a little bit older now but he certainly still has the ability and just needs things to work perfectly for him.

“While I wanted a solid pace having a look at the sectionals they actually went a couple of seconds quicker than the benchmark to the 1200m so they went solid and what I was happy with is the fact that he finished in front of all the horses that were up on the pace with him”.

Image Courtesy of Janine Hyndes


Well, it was to be the Sandown Cup over the very suitable distance of 3200m but it’s been rescheduled by the Melbourne Racing Club to next year. 

“I think he’s still got it and going very well, we just need things to work out for us. 

“It’s a real shame they have moved the Sandown Cup with no consultation with the participants, still I just need to sit down with the team and find the next suitable target which are limited” Cumani concluded.