Pat Smullen, successful on Irish raider Captain Joy in the in the Ladbrokes All-Weather Mile, commented:” Captain Joy is a great horse. It has been well documented that he had colic surgery and, although I don’t know the full story, from what I can gather it was really close to being over for him. They got him back well and to be fair to Tracey (Collins – trainer) she has trained him extremely well. He likes to be fresh – he is good when he’s fresh – and she got him qualified and kept him for the race.
“It was a tight run round for him last year (when third in this race) and he probably didn’t show his true colours, but it could not have been more opposite today. We had a lovely run round and I knew when George Baker (on Captain Cat) got to the front that he wasn’t going too fast. I was happy to follow him and my horse got the line really well.
“I was glad the winning post came when it did to be honest. I committed him soon enough because, after not going very fast, I felt he is getting on in age and is not going to have the turn of foot he once had.”
Captain Joy, a seven-year-old by Dark Angel, bounced back from a near-death experience after an attack of colic last autumn to go two better than last year and relegate Sovereign Debt to second place for the second time in a row.
Smullen, the Irish champion jockey, rode a tactically excellent race, sitting off the pace before timing his run to perfection on the 11/1 shot. He added: “Captain Joy is a lovely horse. He’s a good horse on the grass, but he’s a real All-Weather horse; whatever it is this surface brings the best out of him. He tries very hard and it was a great training performance to get him back from near-death surgery he had with the colic. Tracey’s been very patient with him. This horse can dig deep, you know.”
Tracey Collins, based at the Curragh, Ireland who took over the licence from her father in 2007 has 30 horses in training, said: “He’s been a lovely horse to train but he ran into trouble last September, he got colic surgery and it was more go than touch with him for a time. Ned Gowing of Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital looked after this horse and got him well but sadly died soon afterwards.
“Mr & Mrs Stanley [owners] have been phenomenal supporters of mine and allowed me to do what I wanted If we got here that was fine and if not it wasn’t the end of the world, and I’m just so pleased he was able to pull it off for them. He has been a flagship horse for us. This was the plan. He arrived at Lingfield early on Wednesday morning. This must be my biggest win moneywise.
“We brought him to Dundalk [where a win secured his qualification for today] and he was about 80% fit but he showed all his old determination. He loves to race and coming in here he was spot on. The first plan was to get him back healthy and well and this was the next one. Lingfield has been lucky for me. I would not say today is beyond our dreams because we have always thought an awful lot of the horse. We had Pat on board who comes in and rides him and we knew Captain Joy was well, but it was a very hot race. Things had to go our way and it did, thank god.
“He had the run of the race and Pat got him in beautifully from the draw. Everything just went perfect.We probably give him a little break now because he is best fresh and wants good ground. He still hasn’t got a win on the grass – today was his ninth on the All-Weather – but he has competed very well against higher class horses on the grass. We will see what happens but this was the plan. We will definitely be back next winter. He is best is definitely on the All-Weather, but he has run into some very high-class horses on the grass.”
ATZENI PLEASED WITH SOVEREIGN’S FIGHT
Andrea Atzeni was pleased with the way Sovereign Debt picked up in the closing stages to eventually finish second behind Captain Joy in the Ladbrokes All-Weather Mile Championships Stakes.
Atzeni, who was beaten by half a length on the 11/4 shot, said: “He ran a blinder and picked up really well. We were a bit unlucky when we turned in as the horse wasn’t taking me anywhere and we were under a bit of pressure in the straight, but the way he got back up he ran a good race.”
Jim Crowley, who finished third on the 2/1 favourite Mindurownbusiness, said: “He ran a game race. He rushed out of the stalls and everyone wanted the same position so instead of forcing him behind the leaders I pulled three wide. I didn’t feel that was the problem, just when I turned in he didn’t pick up like he normally can do. ”
3.15pm £150,000 Ladbrokes All-Weather Mile Championships, 1m
For four-year-olds and upwards who, after October 28, 2015, and before March 19, 2016, have run three times on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France, OR have run three times during the Championship period, including twice on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France AND have run at least once at Meydan (Dirt) OR have won an “All-Weather mile Fast-Track qualifier” race. Weights: Colts and geldings: 9st 5lb; fillies 9st. Maximum field of 12 (plus 2 reserves).
1) 8 CAPTAIN JOY (IRE) 7 9-05 Herb M Stanley Tracey Collins IRE Pat Smullen 11/1
2) 1 SOVEREIGN DEBT (IRE) 7 9-05 Lady O’Reilly David Nicholls Andrea Atzeni 11/4
3) 5 MINDUROWNBUSINESS (IRE) 5 9-05 Alan Spence Roger Varian Jim Crowley 2/1 Fav
4) 2 BIG BAZ (IRE) 6 9-05 The Big Baz Partnership William Muir Martin Dwyer 7/1
5) 7 CAPTAIN CAT (IRE) 7 9-05 Seasons Holidays Roger Charlton George Baker 5/1
6=) 12 MISTER UNIVERSE 4 9-05 Abdulla Al Mansoori Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 7/1
6=) 11 SI SENOR (IRE) 5 9-05 Alan Pickering Ed Vaughan Adam Kirby 33/1
8) 3 FORCEFUL APPEAL (USA) 8 9-05 Mark McAllister Simon Dow Luke Morris 66/1
9) 9 SEANIE (IRE) 7 9-05 D Lavelle David Marnane IRE Graham Lee 33/1
10) 4 ARNOLD LANE (IRE) 7 9-05 J Mitchell Mick Channon Silvestre de Sousa 50/1
11) 6 JAMMY GUEST (IRE) 6 9-05 John Guest Racing George Margarson Ryan Powell 66/1
12) 10 LUNAR DEITY 7 9-05 The Morley Family Stuart Williams Pat Cosgrave 25/1
Time: 1m 35.20s
Distances: ½, 1, 2¾, nk, hd, dead heat, 1¼, 1, ½, ½, 5
Tote Win: £13.50 Places £3.10, £1.10, £1.50 Exacta: £56.60