Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick.
PROMINENT Sydney trainer Paul Fitzpatrick travels to Newcastle tonight in a bid to qualify his talented two-year-old Captain Richie for the colts and geldings’ division of the New South Wales Breeders Challenge.
The gelding, by Captaintreacherous, is mooted as being a leading contender to take out the series and has Fitzpatrick quite excited over the youngster’s future prospects.
A winner of three of his seven race starts to date, Captain Ritchie will start a long odds-on favourite tonight, despite drawing wide in gate eight.
The wide draw in the eight-horse field is not concerning Fitzpatrick and he is hoping his son Gavin, who has driven Captain Richie from the start of his career, will be able to charge out of the gate and cross his opposition early to ensure he gains an unhampered run.
“I have a lot of time for this horse,” said Fitzpatrick
“We always thought from an early stage in his preparation that he was going to be handy.
“And so far, he has lived up to our expectations with his consistent record and genuine racing style.
“Drawing where he has tonight will place a heavier task on him, but that doesn’t concern me too greatly.
“Gavin will drive him positively from the start and hopefully lead, so we can take any bad luck out of the equation.
“There is a bit of the unknown in the race with a few Queensland visitors that have drawn to our inside, so I guess we need to respect that and not take them too lightly.
“Richie is owned by some of our really loyal owners, who have enjoyed a lot of success with us over the years.
“We all enjoy the sport and love getting to the yearling sales each year to pick out a few yearlings in the hope that they make it to the races and can perform like this fellow has.
“As a stable, we strive to have our horses in the feature races and to be competitive.
“And I have no doubt this guy can fly the stable flag for us this season and beyond.”
Recent Albion Park winner Wisper A Secret, which is prepared by respected Queensland trainer Chantel Turpin and will be driven by leading reinsman Pete McMullen, poses as the main threat to Captain Richie.