Captain Joy has been one of the real stars of the All-Weather Championships for the past two seasons and the seven-year-old has the Sun Bets All-Weather Mile Championships on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, in his sights again this year.
The popular grey enjoyed the biggest victory of his career when successful in the All-Weather Mile Championships at Lingfield Park on Finals Day last season, when he powered home to a game half-length success over Sovereign Debt in the hands of Pat Smullen.
Trained at the Curragh, Ireland, by Tracey Collins, Captain Joy’s victory on Finals Day was even more remarkable given the fact he had survived a life-threatening bout of colic in September, 2015 and had only one outing last winter prior to his Good Friday victory, when successful in a Fast-Track Qualifier at Dundalk in February.
In the 2014/15 All-Weather Championships, Captain Joy was a close third on Finals Day in the All-Weather Mile Championships, having qualified by landing a Fast-Track Qualifier at Lingfield Park.
The seven-year-old son of Dark Angel, who is owned by Herb Stanley, has won nine times on the All-Weather in total, with all of his seven other victories coming at Dundalk.
Tracey Collins reported: “Captain Joy is very well at the moment. He has come back from having a break.
“We have to try and organise a winter campaign for him now. Unfortunately, there are not many races at Dundalk that are suitable for him, so we will probably have to travel over to England again with him.
“It will be more than likely that we will go down the Fast-Track Qualifier route with him again. The qualifier at Dundalk is not until March, which is a long way off. The horse will tell us when he is ready and we will map out a plan from there.
“Captain Joy is just a horse that loves work and loves racing. He is a very consistent and genuine horse.”
Kempton Park stages two high-quality All-Weather cards next week on Monday, October 31 and on Wednesday, November 2.
Monday’s highlight is the £55,000 32Red London Middle Distance Final (4.55pm, 13 entries) over 11 furlongs, while there is Listed action on Wednesday with the £40,000 32Red Floodlit Stakes (7.25pm) over a mile and a half.
Among the 19 entries for the 32Red Floodlit Stakes are G1 winner Robin Of Navan (Harry Dunlop) and Western Hymn (John Gosden), who was third in this season’s G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.