Captain Sonador was doing his best work in the last 100 metres of the G1 George Ryder last Saturday and connections are looking forward to the clash with super mare More Joyous in the G1 Doncaster Hcp on April 16.
Captain Sonador (4h Shamardal – Pushing Daisies by Kenny’s Best Pal) came from well back on the corner to finish less than three lengths behind Rangirangdoo at Rosehill over 1500m. “He was caught flat-footed for a couple of strides when they sprinted at the 600 metres,” trainer Roger Milne revealed. “Then he was baulked by Ilovethiscity at the top of the straight.
“But he really let down in the final stages and the step up to 1600m in the Doncaster will suit him down to the ground.”
Captain Sonador won the G1 Epsom Handicap over the Randwick mile last October. Milne has booked Black Caviar’s jockey Luke Nolen for the Doncaster next Saturday week.
At first glance, Captain Sonador and the rest of the Doncaster field are racing for second prizemoney behind More Joyous but Milne isn’t conceding defeat in the lead-up to the $2 million event.
“There’s still 10 days before the race and anything can happen in the meantime,” he explained. “She’s a champion but will have to spot us 3.5kg.”
More Joyous has been allotted 56.5kg and will have to break a weight carrying record for the Doncaster Mile. No four-year-old mare has ever been able to cope with that much weight.
“I can’t be worrying about her or any of the others,” Milne commented. “I’m only concentrating on one horse at this stage and I can’t fault Captain Sonador.
“He’s improving all the time and will sprint up on Saturday morning at Warwick Farm. I will give him a final gallop on Tuesday morning and I’m hoping they will let us use the course proper.”
Milne trains Captain Sonador for Gregg Wagner and Raheen Stud’s Nolan family.
Raheen will stand Captain Sonador for the 2011 breeding season. He is a Group 1 winning son of Darley’s champion sire Shamardal and his dam is a half sister to G2 winning racemare Umaline.
Captain Sonador’s service fee will be announced after the autumn carnival but the Nolans are taking advance bookings for his first book. Broodmare owners can call Basil Nolan (07) 4666 1172 for further information about shares or nominations.