Scintilating debut from Captain Tom
By Jonny Turner
Trainer Alister Black unleashed a pacer with a big future at Winton yesterday in slick debut winner Captain Tom.
The two-year-old impressed when charging away from his opposition to win race 4 in the track record breaking mile (1609m) time of 1.53.9.
Though Captain Tom isn’t always electric in his work at home, it has been clear to his trainer that the horse has some real class about him.
“He is quite a lazy sort of trackworker, but he always seemed like he had a very good turn of foot,” Black said.
“Everything he has done this time in, he has done it well within himself.”
“So, if he keeps improving it’s onwards and upwards, hopefully.”
Owners Lindsay and Ian Thomson purchased Captain Tom at last year’s National Yearling Sales in Christchurch from Brian West’s Studholme Bloodstock.
Studholme have been in outstanding form over the past week with No Matter Wat and Don’t Stop Dreaming winning Group One races at Addington on Sunday.
“We have bought about five over the years and we have only one miss, all of the rest have done a pretty good job,” Black said.
Captain Tom will get the chance to again show his class on what is set to be a historic day in Southland’s harness racing history.
Black plans to line the pacer up in the two-year-old colts and geldings event on the same day as the province’s first Group One race, the Invercargill Cup.
Captain Tom will go into the race a track-record holder, having broken the 1.54.0 two-year-old mile mark set by Beach Ball late last year.
Nathan Williamson drove the pacer to victory before clinching an important win with Escobar in race 11.
Earlier at the Winton meeting, Brett Gray notched a training double with Jaccka Connor and Justine Jaccka to share the lead in the Southland trainer’s premiership on 33 wins.
Williamson then went on to reclaim the lead with Escobar providing him with his 34th win of the season.
Though he expects some banter to go back and forward with Williamson, Gray admitted he wasn’t getting his hopes up ahead of the last 22 days of their premiership battle.
Brothers Hamish and Peter Hunter produced a family milestone at the Winton meeting when they provided the trifecta in race 7
Through 45 years of training, Hamish said he hadn’t completed the feat before with either Peter or his elder brother Henderson Hunter.