Double Sparks Interest in Bigger Targets

With summer just weeks away the nights are drawing out which has allowed the evening racing to begin. There was success at opposite ends of the country as Room Service and Captain Winters provided a smart double.

There have only been a limited number of 2yo runners so far this season, with many not wanting the minimum trip and ground scuppering others from making their debut. From the ones who have run, they have performed well and Room Service provided an impressive win when taking the 5 1/2f Maiden Stakes at Wetherby.

Bought from Book 2 of the Tatts yearling sales, the son of Kodi Bear was signed for by Timmy and Demi O’Byrne. Set to run in the colours of the O’Byrne family, Room Service showed ability from an early stage in his training. Although he came to hand quite early, it was clear that the colt would want a little further than the bare 5f.

Wetherby provided the perfect start with the extended 5f. Whilst the trip looked ideal, the level of competition would be rather stiff with the leading players bringing a good level of form. Although there was only 9 set to line up, Room Service was judged to be a 20-1 shot, showing the level he would need tor un up to.

Tom Eaves took the ride and got the colt away well, moving up prominently on the outer of the group. It was experience to the fore but Room Service jumped well and managed to track the pace on the outer of the group. They were going a clip as the field raced down towards the left handed bend. Showing a professional attitude, Room Service travelled well throughout the contest.

Entering the straight, the field had over 3f to run but already the race was starting to take shape. With the track having a cutaway, the runners fanned out which left plenty of room for the inexperienced runner to make their challenge. Room Service moved up towards the centre of the track, getting closer to the leader who was in danger from the favourite. As they headed towards the final couple of furlongs, it was the fav who moved through to challenge and take the lead. Looking towards the outer Room Service was moving impressively as Tom still sat motionless, looking to have plenty of horse underneath him.

Once Tom asked the colt to go and quicken he did just that and laid down his challenge to the fav. As the pair began to battle it out, they dragged each other along and started to pull away from the rest of the field. Matching strides, the pair were quickening clear but passing the 1f pole Room Service edged to the front. He was showing some signs of inexperience but was galloping out strongly. Hitting top gear, it was the final 1/2f where the colt really started to assert his dominance and under a hands and heels ride Room Service pulled away from his rival, scoring by an impressive 1 1/4 lengths.

First time out is always about experience for juveniles, first and foremost they need to have a good day which they can take forward. For any 2yo to win first time is difficult, especially against rivals who have had the benefit of a run. Room Service had always shown ability at home and he thrived on the track. Travelling well he did it very professionally and looks like a very nice prospect. He will get further in time and it showed here as he didn’t really hit his stride until the final 1/2f.

Reem Three has been a super mare for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, producing quality year on year. The last two progeny have race from Hambleton Lodge and Captain Winters continued the family trend of gaining pattern success when he won the 1m Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown.

Last season proved fruitful for the colt who took a few runs before getting off the mark. Once he did, Captain Winters immediately stepped up to pattern company. Having picked up black type by finishing third, he couldn’t quite go on in his final run as a 2yo. It was quite a low key return to action for Captain Winters this year when he went to Musselburgh for a 3yo handicap. Although he ran well, he could get no nearer than fourth. Despite this result Kevin would step the colt back up in grade when he went to Sandown.

Only four runners lined up for the listed event and Captain Winters was the outsider, having to reverse form with Finn’s Charm who beat him just 38 days earlier. Neil Callan took the ride and as they left the stalls he managed to take a lead, with the fours runner quickly manoeuvring into single file. With such a small field the pace was never going to be crazy and the leader just set a pretty sedate pace.

Little would change throughout the contest as the market leaders sat behind their rivals. As they raced around the home bend and into the straight, the four runners would then begin to fan out readying themselves for the finish. Moving towards the 3f marker there was an increase in the tempo for the first time. Suddenly Neil found himself vying for the lead and as his mount was rolling, he decided he would have to commit. Getting lower in the saddle he asked Captain Winters to go and quicken.

The talking horse, odds on favourite, looked in trouble as they moved into the final 2f. On the front end Captain Winters had taken the lead and was really shifting through the gears. He began to stride away from his rivals and the race was blown apart as Captain Winters was turning the screw. The final furlong is a stiff finish but with momentum, the colt was ready to tackle the rising ground. Having kicked a couple of lengths clear, Captain Winters just started to shorten his stride. Second place began to rally and the clear advantage began to shrink. From looking like a clear winner, Captain Winters now looked in danger. Callan was asking for everything and trying to keep hi mount going. In the dying strides of the line the front pair joined up once more and flashed past the post as one. It didn’t take long for the photograph to be called and thankfully Captain Winters had stuck his nose out to grab the win.

Obviously it was big step up on his reappearance run but Captain Winters looked very well in himself. Grabbing a listed win was very important for both the colt himself and his mother. He travelled well into the race and battled on well up the stiff finish. It may be that a sharper mile or even 7f could be ideal and a step up in grade will be in order. Pattern success is secured so the colt can now look for other opportunities, with races at home and abroad to suit. Possibly something like the Jersey stakes at Royal Ascot may be a good one to aim at or travel over to France.

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