Captain Envious blouses rivals in Ballarat Cup

Captain Envious (NZ) ridden by Michael Dee wins the Ballarat Cup at Ballarat Racecourse on December 09, 2023. (Photo by Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

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.”

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