Captain Cat pounces in Sovereign to rule Salisbury
Thursday 14 August 2014
By Geoffrey Riddle
Captain Cat may have missed Glorious Goodwood due to unfortunate circumstances but Roger Charlton’s exciting five-year-old could yet make the trip to the Sussex Downs after a blistering performance at Salisbury on Thursday.
Captain Cat was far too good in the Totepool Sovereign Stakes on his first run at Group level under James Doyle and he turned the Group Three event over a mile in to a rout as he finished an easy two and a quarter lengths clear of Producer.
Mike De Kock’s Rerouted was a similar distance back in third.
It was Captain Cat’s first run for 118 days, having missed several high-profile engagements in the interim since he won on All-Weather Championships day at Lingfield in April.
“I was pleasantly surprised by how well I was going passing the two – he was good today,” Doyle told Racing UK.
“He is a horse that was tall and lanky and looked a shell of a horse in his younger days.
“Even from Good Friday to today he has strengthened up and he now looks the finished article.”
Captain Cat was 8-1 for the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood before his horse box broke down on the way to the racecourse, but the gelded son of Dylan Thomas has an entry in the Group 2 Celebration Mile next week. Muteela, Sheikh Hamdan's gutsy Sandringham Handicap winner, could also head there, it was announced on Wednesday.
It is a race that Charlton did not discount.
“That was pretty enjoyable to watch, seeing him cruising down the outside. He's improved,” he said.
"Provided he's OK, he could well run in the Celebration Mile later this month."
Doyle was content to sit off the pace set by David Probert aboard Highland Colori as Andrea Atzeni pressed on 6-4 favourite Yuften.
Captain Cat travelled like a dream for much of the race and cruised up alongside Yuften, who had taken the lead inside the final two furlongs.
Approaching the final furlong Captain Cat had taken the lead and all Doyle had to do was push out his mount before he eased up near the finish.
Captain Cat once again displayed an awkward head carriage, but Doyle was unconcerned at a tilt at the Celebration Mile despite his mount finishing 16 of 17 on his only start at Goodwood last season.
“He’s always been like that,” Doyle said of his mount’s head carriage.
“He’ll handle Goodwood no problem. He’s a well-balanced type – he doesn’t look it but does remarkably well given his make-up.”
Captain Cat triggered a double for Charlton and Doyle, who struck in the opening race, with Sister Of Mercury.
The daughter of Azamour, the 2005 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, edged the Bet totejackpot At totesport.com Maiden Auction Stakes by a neck from Who’sthedude, ridden by Silvestre De Sousa and Ralph Beckett.
Beckett did not have to wait long for compensation as Sleeper completed a hat-trick in the colours of the Millennium Madness Partnership in the £25 Free Bet At totesport.com EBF Stallions Fillies' Handicap.
The daughter of Rail Link, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, won at Windsor last month and Kempton last week and got up the three-timer under Atzeni by a neck from Mystery Drama.
"It always gives me a kick to see these colours win, they gave me my first two-year-old winner and some of the guys have been with me for 14 years," Beckett said. "They are not exactly Highclere, but they're loyal and perhaps long-suffering.
"I was a bit worried about running her as it was her fourth quick run in a month but she does very little in her races."
Beckett has had to make do with a variety of jockeys in the past ten days after stable jockey Jim Crowley left to go freelance.
De Sousa, Atzeni, Jimmy Fortune, Patrick O’Donnell, Richard Kingscote, Ryan Moore Richard Hughes and rising star Oisin Murphy have all ridden for the Kimpton handler since Crowley suddenly departed.
"Being without a jockey in August is careless,” Beckett added in an interview with Racing UK. “I don't know what I am going to do about it. It'll work out. I wouldn’t say I was annoyed, that is not the right word."