Captain Ravishing Primed for Return

25 January 2023

AUSTRALIA’S most exciting pacer Captain Ravishing has gone to another level as he returns for a campaign aimed at the $1 million Miracle Mile.

Co-trainer Emma Stewart was thrilled with the four-year-old’s sparkling Ballarat trial win yesterday and said fans would see a “more mature and tractable” Captain Ravishing when he resumes in the 4YO Bonanza at Melton on Saturday week.

Captain Ravishing is clear favourite in pre post markets for the Bonanza, Group 1 Chariots Of Fire (February 18) and the Miracle Mile on March 4.

He burst into the big league with a stunning first campaign for Stewart and co-trainer Clayton Tonkin where Captain Ravishing had seven starts for six wins, including a mesmerizing last-start dominance in the Group 1 Breeders Crown 3YO final on November 19.

In that race, he sat parked on a wet track and powered away to win by 28.8 metres in an all-aged track record-smashing 1min51.1sec mile rate for 2240m.

It was the most stunning pacing performance of 2022.

Captain Ravishing’s six wins for Stewart and Tonkin have been by an aggregate of 111.6 metres at an average of 18.6 metres.

“We thought from the first day he came to us he was a bit special,” Stewart said.

“His speed is unbelievable. He’s as fast a horse as we’ve trained and potentially up with the best.

“He was a bit raw and green in his first few runs for us, but he improved as he went on.

“The little break has been good for him. He’s definitely more relaxed and tractable this time in work.”

Captain Ravishing looks to have the 4YO Bonanza at his mercy given key contemporaries like Leap To Fame and Catch A Wave are set to miss the feature.

Such is his aura, it will be interesting to see how many rivals actually take him on when the final field is released.

Victory in the 4YO Bonanza would earn Captain Ravishing automatic entry into the Chariots Of Fire and a top two finish in that race would be enough to lock in a Miracle Mile berth.

Longer term, Captain Ravishing is clear favourite to win the world’s richest harness race, the inaugural $2.1 million TAB Eureka at Menangle on September 2.

The Eureka is a slot race and the jostle is on behind the scenes to see which slot holder can land Captain Ravishing to fly its flag.

In other stable news, Stewart said Honolua Bay and Mach Dan would be her only runners in Saturday week’s $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton.

“They’ll be the two,” she said. “We were happy with both of them in the Ballarat Cup last week.

“Honolua Bay’s run was fantastic. The Inter Dominion series seems to have been really good for him. He’s come through it so well and, driven with a sit, I’m sure he’s up to winning a race like the Hunter Cup.”

Stewart said stable favourite Hurricane Harley will skip the Hunter Cup to focus on the quirky 1200m Mercury80 final on the same night.

“It’s great to have him back (after a stint in WA). He’ll be very hard to beat from the draw (gate one) on Saturday night (Casey Classic) and then he’ll go to the Mercury80 final the week after,” Stewart said.

Dual Vicbred final winner Amore Vita is also set to resume on Hunter Cup night in the Ladyship Cup as she prepares for a Sydney trip.

“We’ll take Amore Vita and Tough Tilly to Sydney when Captain Ravishing goes. They’ll target the Queen Elizabeth II Mile (February 25),” Stewart said.

  • Adam Hamilton is a paid contributor writing on harness racing for News Corp.


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