Trainer of Captain Sonador Roger Milne is talking up his chances for the Doncaster Mile this weekend at Randwick, but at the same time he’s already nervous about what lurks ahead in the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Milne has finally been able to remove the glued on shoes from Captain Sonador and replace them with standard race shoes, the final step to make his charger 100 percent fit.
“When he left Melbourne, he ripped a shoe off on the way home and took plenty of his foot off with it,” Milne said.
“He has taken a bit of time for the foot to grow back and now it is fully healed. He was racing pretty much on his sole for a couple of starts but he is right now.
“As a measure of how bad his foot was, he was in a size four shoe straight after it happened but now he is back to a size seven shoe.”
He won the Epsom Handicap and a win on Saturday would be the first Epsom / Doncaster double since Super Impose in 1990/1991.
He’ll carry an 1.5kgs more than he did in the Epsom but the stallion should cope with it easily.
“I reckon he has come up all right in that field with 53.5kg,” Milne said.
“He is getting weight off More Joyous and he is only 2kg over the limit. He is in well.”
While he’s not worried about the Doncaster Mile weight, one thing that does concern him is the pending darkness of the Black Flash.
Captain Sonador will be sent to stud after the Brisbane Winter Carnival but his path may need to change if he is to go out on a high.
“He’ll run in the Doncaster before he has probably two more starts in Brisbane,” Milne said.
Originally the two races were going to be the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 before a final berth in Brisbane’s biggest event, the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at eagle Farm in June.
A face-off with Black Caviar though may be enough for Milne and other trainers to seek glory elsewhere.
“There is probably no way he could beat Black Caviar in the Doomben 10,000,” Milne said.
“I have seen her win three times now in the flesh and she seems to get better every time so I might look at another race for him before the Stradbroke.
“He could run in the 10,000 but there might be something better around for him before his last race.”
Before then though he has a Doncaster think about with Captain Sonador to start form gate nine in the $2 million race.
“He’s a big striding horse so he is well-drawn out in nine,” Milne said.
“He is such an easy horse to ride, you can put him almost anywhere and he will travel kindly so the gate is perfect.”
Ironically he will be ridden by the jockey of Black Caviar , Luke Nolen.