Great captain's knock in Summer Cup feature
On a night where driver John Dunn was the individual star of the show, Captain Dolmio, the wee fella that hails from the deep south took another big step forward in what is now looking a very serious race career. Allowed to start third favourite in a field of eight, he dominated from the front and never gave any of his opponents a look in, tasting his first Group Race success for the very passionate Captain Dolmio syndicate.
Drawn nicely in barrier three, owing to the preferential barrier conditions of the race, Captain Dolmio was allowed to go forward early and found a comfortable lead. As the field reached the mile peg in a lead time of 1.14, Captain Dolmio looked to be travelling a treat and had come under no pressure from any others in the field. Attended by one of the favourites in Locharburn from the 1200m, John had still not had any real pressure applied and got to the half mile with some serious horsepower still to use, so use it he did, putting in a 27.8 quarter that had Locharburn struggling by the 400m and no others really running on. Turning for home, John gave "The Captain" a little bit more rein and he cruised away, much to the delight of his fantastic band of owners, who enjoy every time that he hits the racetrack. At the line, he was a comfortable one and three quarter lengths clear of one of the outsiders in Motu Premier that ran on well after enjoying a good sit three back throughout.
Last night's win was Captain Dolmio's 7th from just 21 race starts and with a further nine placings thrown in he is doing a great job.
At his previous start in the Invercargill Cup, also a Group Three, Captain Dolmio had produced a very game run for second after doing all the donkey work, setting up one of the fastest two miles ever run. Last night though, he never looked vulnerable throughout the running.
"Down at Invercargill, he never really got a chance for a breather," said John.
"I had them running all the way and that is tough over two miles."
"This time though I got it pretty easy with a comfortable lead time and then ran quarters that are just too hard to make ground on, particularly with the track as it is tonight."
"He's just a wee ripper!"
Stable foreman Ross Houghton commented about the horse's toughness post race also.
"Look at him there. He's just a plain looking horse. In fact probably the most plain out of all those that we have in tonight. But god he's tough. He just doesn't want to get beat."
A five year old by Grinfromeratoear, Captain Dolmio looks certain to be targeting big race targets such as the New Zealand Cup in the new season. He appears one of the most progressive horses in the country and just loves racing at Addington. In the short term, the Easter Cup looks the obvious target and who knows what type of time he could set up at Addington on the big 1200m track. He has already run two of the fastest times ever run at Addington, one of these being a 3.07.7, run last April, when he was just a C1, while he set up Mr Mojito for a New Zealand record on Cup Day in November, that race won in 3.06.3.
Put simply this guy is tough and looks the real deal. His fighting qualities look sure to thrust him onto the Grand Circuit stage next season and continue the fun ride that all in the Captain Dolmio syndicate have been enjoying over the last year.
While all of the plaudits were with Captain Dolmio and deservedly so, the other pleasing aspect of the race was the run of Alta Orlando. After his unruly performance last week, he was a lot more tractable on this occasion, enjoying a nice trip, three back the markers, before running on strongly in the straight for 4th after being held up a little coming to the home turn. A problem child he may be at times, but there is no doubting his huge ability when his head in in the right space.
Posted: Sat 18 Feb 2017