Captain Envious (+280) cruised past his rivals to secure victory in the $500,000 Ballarat Cup (2000m) on Saturday afternoon, reveling in the Heavy track conditions.
There was plenty of money for the Paul Preusker-trained son of Savabeel, firming into a clear favourite with online bookmakers prior to the jump.
He didn’t disappoint, as Michael Dee sat quietly aboard the five-year-old, before unleashing down the centre of the course with 400m to travel.
It proved to be a real testing 2000m as En Francais (+2000) led them up at a genuine tempo throughout, with Young Werther (+550) and Just Folk (+400) landing into the trail.
Young Werther swung the bend to head his rivals but did run into some interference before Captain Envious rounded them up to score a convincing victory, while Foxy Cleopatra (+340) backers were left disappointed, as the mare was unable to handle conditions.
2023 Ballarat Cup Replay – Captain Envious | T: Paul Preusker | J: Michael Dee
Paul Preusker was on course to give his thoughts on his progressive stayer on the rise, and suggested Cup races like this are always a target for his stable.
“I always like having the right horse for the right job, and it’s only now that I thought about targeting the race,” said Preusker.
“He’s got that blistering turn of foot. He’s turned into a nice horse, handles wet and dry. I thought let’s have a go here. I didn’t want to stay him out this prep, so 2000 metres ticked the box.”
“He’s a horse that will get over a bit more ground. It was a matter of getting some points. Today was good for that.”
Michael Dee was glowing about his mount in his post-race assessment, giving credit to the horse for his ability to get through the tough going.
“He quickened up like it was a good track,” said Dee.
“He ploughed through that. He was running away from them on the line and he took time to pull him up. It was a super effort.
“There was a little more speed than I thought. He didn’t jump the cleanest as well.
“He ended up positioning further back than we planned.
“As the races had been planning out, I wanted to stay on the fence, but that wasn’t going to eventuate for us, so I ended up peeling him out, he took off, and he did the rest.”