Captain Tom provides Collett with milestone

Captain Tom
Captain Tom winning at Pukekohe on Thursday. Photo: Trish Dunell

Pukekohe trainer Richard Collett marked a century of wins on his home track when promising three-year-old Captain Tom saluted in the Mount Shop 1200 maiden under jockey Andrew Calder on Thursday.

The son of Showcasing had previously been first past the post at Te Rapa earlier in the month but was relegated from first to third after causing interference over the concluding stages.

Named after Captain Sir Tom Moore, the British WWII veteran who raised millions of pounds for health service workers on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19, the gelding was a comfortable length and a half winner on Thursday, with first-starter Side Hustle running home well for second.

“It is quite satisfying to get the 100th win on my home track, particularly with a promising horse bred and raced by Matt Goodson and Di Perron who have been great supporters,” Collett said.

“The way things unfolded at Te Rapa was a bit unfortunate. He was a touch slow to clear the gates that day and Andrew gave him a bit of a squeeze and he got running and it wasn’t the intention to ride him in front. He got totally lost and he hadn’t raced left-handed before.

“Going back right-handed on his home track was a bit easier for him. We intended to ride him back and have the last run at them today and he won well, even though he was probably in front a bit soon through circumstance.

“He is learning and he has got a lot of ability. Things are starting to fall into place. He was shin sore in the spring after he won a trial in September.

“He is going to be competing for black-type at some stage but it is just a matter of when he is ready to do it. There is a race on the first day of the Auckland Carnival in nine days’ time, but we will just see how he comes through this.”

Collett, who has a property nearby the Pukekohe track, said the course was a fabulous place to train.

“It is a bit of a mecca for me. It has got such great grasses to work on and a great sand training track,” he said.

“With the natural centralisation of racing, Pukekohe is a logical region that could be used more as a training facility. The club needs to come to the party and build barns and help young trainers out.”

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