Captain Spud, the gelding part-owned and ultimately named in honour of late St Kilda champion Danny Frawley, could back up on Saturday in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas at Morphettville.
The three-year-old son of Toronado on Saturday at Caulfield completed a hat-trick of emotion-charged wins for the cohort of Frawley’s closest friends and wife Anita, who race the gritty gelding.
After back-to-back Sale wins, the Peter Gelagotis-trained galloper added a well-deserved city victory.
A decision on the Port Adelaide Guineas will be made in consultation with managing owner, Hong Kong-based Melbourne Cup trainer David Hall.
That one's for you, Spud. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/4xAFGdIj4M
Part-owner and Marvel Stadium chief executive Michael Green was thrilled with the Caulfield result.
“Spud is going to be looking down on us today and it’s fantastic to win,” Green said.
“Danny was a great friend to all the owners and Peter Gelagotis the trainer, so to get this win today is special and hopeful we can go on to bigger and better things.”
The connections of Captain Spud celebrate the win. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Captain Spud was around the mark without winning in three starts last year, including a debut third behind eventual Australian Guineas fourth placegetter Embolism.
He resumed in February with a midweek placing at Sandown before the current winning streak.
“We didn’t want to rush this horse along, he’s had a sustained preparation,” Green said.
“Today is not the grand final … we’re on to bigger and better things hopefully.”
Captain Spud sealed a race-to-race double for jockey John Allen, who despite wrestling with the gelding in the straight was happy with the way he responded at the finish.
“He wasn’t the quickest away but we landed in a good spot after having to waken him up to get in front of the ones in front of us,” Allen said.
“We then got a lovely camp in behind the speed. He was always travelling well.
“He had a tendency to lay in but always finding plenty and was strong through the line.
“I had a job to pull him up after the race. That’s always a good sign.”
MOOR PUTS IN A BLINDER
Daniel Moor’s ride on BLINDER was the difference, while favourite backers must rue the barrier Gods for fancied PESTO appeared a good thing licked.
As Moor had Blinder in a midfield stalking position, coiled up ready for the gaps to open, Jye McNeil was given little choice but to go back from barrier 12 on Pesto and hope for the best.
To Moor went the spoils, his first Saturday city winner since partnering From Within at Caulfield last September, as McNeil’s bold run on Pesto ended half a length short.
Meanwhile, Will Price is lucky both he and Michael Dee walked away from Race 1 unscathed after a scary incident deep in the straight.
After being stuck on the rail, as Moor drove through, apprentice jockey Price jolted out on DARK WANDERER and, in doing so, would almost bring down Dee on VONGOLE.
Dee stayed in the saddle incredibly, despite his right leg coming out of the iron as Vongole knuckled.
Over to you, Stewards.
AGREE TO DISAGREE
Anthony and Sam Freedman have a decision to make.
Listen to stable representative Steve Adams or winning jockey Jamie Kah after AGREEABLE broke through at Caulfield on Saturday.
Adams was of the opinion 1400m would suit the filly best next time out but Kah called for 1600m.
“She needs a little bit further to travel into and still push her out of her comfort zone,” Kah said.
“A mile next start would be perfect.”
Either way, Agreeable, who was around the mark last spring in stakes grade, will chase black type success in Adelaide next.
Agreeable finally broke through at Caulfield. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Remember the name NAJMATY.
The Team Snowden-trained Sydney filly will be winning better races, as early as the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes potentially, after cruising to victory in the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes at Caulfield.
Najmaty’s class shone through at Caulfield, sitting back off the speed and then surging past her Melbourne two year-old opposition to bank a smart near three-length victory.
John Allen was enamoured enough by the result and the feel he got to put his hand up to follow her back to Sydney, should his services be required.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden was pleased with what he saw despite Najmaty taking a while to get settled behind the gates and over racing early in the run.
“We thought if she’s good enough to win here, she can go back to Sydney for the Percy Sykes,” Snowden said.
SPECIAL VICTORY FOR LATE SHEIKH
Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig paid tribute to the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, founder of global racing empire Shadwell, after MINHAAJ posted a narrow win.
The Exceed and Excel filly, a Group 3 Flemington winner last year, was the stable’s first Shadwell runner since Sheikh Hamdan died on March 24.
“He had been such a wonderful contributor to Australian racing and racing around the world,” Dabernig said.
“It was a special victory.”
Minhaaj, who won by the barest of margins, gripping on from the fast-finishing ALL OF BRIGHTON, could head over to Adelaide next, with the Group 1 Robert Sangster among possible targets.
Originally published asSpud taking Danny’s mates on emotional journey
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