RUGGED Canterbury pacer Captain Dolmio is being aimed at the $800,000 New Zealand Cup by trainer Robert Dunn after impressing at the Rangiora workouts in his first run back from a spell.
The six-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear ran some huge races last season, culminating in a gallant second to rising open-class star Heaven Rocks in the Easter Cup at Addington on April 15.
Stable foreman and driver John Dunn said Captain Dolmio had proven he was worthy of a NZ Cup campaign.
“He’s definitely stronger this time in,” Dunn said. “That hard racing last season last season will hopefully help this season. He was unlucky not to win one of those better races, but still had a great season.
“He must have a big heart for a wee horse. He’s not an outstanding looking horse, but has the right will to run.’’
The news is not so good for eight-year-old warhorse Franco Nelson, which ran second in the 2014 NZ Cup, and then fourth and sixth in 2015 and 2016. He has been troubled by foot and leg issues, but could be ready to campaign at Auckland over Christmas.
Captain Dolmio won at the Rangiora workouts last week, clocking 3:21.7 for the 2600-metre stand, rushing home from the one-one in 56.7 seconds for his last half.
“He went really well. I was happy with his first-up run and he hit the line nice which is what you want,” Dunn said.
Restricted to 24 starts after early injury problems as a young horse, Captain Dolmio’s tally sits on seven wins and 12 placings for stakes of $98,500.
The stable also has high hopes for three-year-olds The Brooklyn Brawler, which won the Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham in 1:54.4, Tuapeka Trick and Henry Hubert, which are all back in work and should be at the workouts in about a month.
- HRNZ Media