Horses To Follow » Captain Morley

Captain Morley

There is a chance that the performance that Captain Morley put up in winning the 12-furlong handicap at Doncaster on Saturday, the race after the dramatic St Leger, will go a little under the radar. It is understandable that all the post-race attention was on the winning rider, Andrea Atzeni, who lost the Leger on Simple Verse in the stewards’ room, rather than on the winning horse. Even the post-race interviews with the rider and with the winning trainer David Simcock – who, interestingly, is not Simple Verse’s trainer – started with Simple Verse, not with Captain Morley. But the performance that Captain Morley put up was really impressive, and it should be worth following him now.

Settled out the back of the field through the early stages of the race, the Qatar Racing gelding travelled easily to the home straight. Hooked towards the outside by Atzeni at the three-furlong pole, he made really nice progress down the near side, hit the front well outside the furlong pole and powered clear under just a hands-and-heels ride. He beat solid yardstick Kinema by four lengths, and he clocked a good time, just 0.10secs/furlong outside Racing Post par and the third fastest time on the day after the Leger winner and the hugely impressive and top class Limato in the Group 2 Park Stakes.

The handicapper has raised Captain Morley 8lb to a mark of 99, but a hike of that type of magnitude was merited. He seemed to appreciate this ground, just on the easy side of good, and he stays this 12-furlong trip well. Simcock mentioned the November Handicap as a possibility afterwards, and he would be very interesting in that race, back at Doncaster and probably on easy ground, especially if he didn’t run between now and then and if he raced off his current mark. He can go well fresh. This was a career-best by a fair way, and it was his first run in six weeks. He would have an eight-week break before the November Handicap.

12th September 2015