Captain Dolmio leads the stable chances in Classic
The ultra consistent Captain Dolmio was a fast finishing third last time in the Hannon Memorial. Tonight, he leads the stable representation of five in the Group Two Canterbury Classic, where they take on the likely favourite for this year's New Zealand Cup in Ultimate Machete as well most of the other leading contenders.
Throughout his 28 starts to date, Captain Dolmio has always shown himself to be a fighter and a horse that thrives when the going gets tough. With tonight's Group Two Classic the second last major lead up for the cup for many, he gets his chance to mix it with harness racing's elite including Ultimate Machete, Eamon Maguire and Dream About Me.
From a nice draw tonight of four, Captain Dolmio and driver Nathan Williamson will be looking to utilise this to their advantage early. For the likes of Ultimate Machete and Eamon Maguire, they are first up tonight and if they are ever going to be vulnerable, then it is probably tonight. What is sure though is that the Hannon Memorial third by Captain Dolmio, in what was a race record, was a positive sign that he is back towards his very best and tracking well towards this year's cup.
Another very good performer out of the Hannon from a stable viewpoint was Alta Orlando. He was a very good 4th on that occasion, after being the one horse in the race that was prepared to go around and serve it up to the pacemaking AG's White Socks. He hasn't been far away in any of his three starts back this time in and looks to be nearing his peak at the right time. He is a great stayer and the harder that they go brings him into the race.
The other run of note from the five stable reps in the Hannon was from the New Brighton Cup winner Letspendanitetogetha, a horse that is already guaranteed a start in this year's cup, by virtue of that victory. On that occasion, he came from a mile off them and very wide from the 500m to run into 5th, beaten just five lengths. He draws towards the inside tonight, so the first 100m of the race will be crucial to him as he looks to get away on terms with the field.
Our final two runners in tonight's feature are Billy Badger and Zadaka. Billy Badger ran home for 6th in the Hannon after getting clear late along the markers. Zadaka was a well beaten 8th. Both horses are expected to be much improved with the run under their belt.
The betting in tonight's race will be dominated by the three runners from the Purdon/Rasmussen barn in Ultimate Machete, Eamon Maguire and Dream About Me. Ultimate Machete and Eamon Maguire are both first up, but have proven credentials. Both rate massive chances in this year's cup calculations. Dream About Me looked back to her best in the Hannon and is a tough staying mare. She will not be far away either.
All in all this looks a fabulous contest and after tonight, the cup picture for this year, may just be that much clearer.
Posted: Fri 05 Oct 2018