Group 1 goals for impressive Winton winner Captain Tom

By Jonny Turner

A smarter and stronger Captain Tom showed he is ready to return to top-level racing when scoring a fresh up win at Winton on Saturday.

The three-year-old cruised away from a hardy bunch of rivals to score an impressive win in his first race day outing since May.

Always an immense talent, Captain Tom showed improved ringcraft in his return for trainer Alister Black and driver Williamson.

Those manners should prove a vital asset when Captain Tom has another crack at Group 1 level next month.

“He has probably come back a lot stronger,” Black said.

“He has put on about 30 kilos to 35-40, somewhere around there.”

“And he is a lot more switched on, last year he was very green and immature.”

“He is in a good space.”

Captain Tom, who's now five of his 10 career starts,  will start at Addington in a fortnight before having his second start at Group 1 level, following his fifth placing in the Sires Stakes Final in May.

“He will go to Christchurch in a fortnight,” Black said.

“There is a rating race up to rating 70, there is nothing else down here for him and we need another run under his belt before we go into the Group 1 (Flying Stakes).”

The Group 1 Sires Stakes Final was won by Don’t Stop Dreaming whose half-brother made a big impression when winning at Winton on Saturday.

Dreams Are Free overcame drawing the outside of the front line to score an impressive debut win for trainer-driver Nathan Williamson.

Williamson managed to find the two-year-old a sweet trip, following the favourite Rustenberg who was in the one-one throughout.

The two-year-old powered home from off the pace on a slick 26.8sec last 400m to win.

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