A $550,000 Magic Millions purchase for China Horse Club/Newgate Bloodstock/Starlight Racing from the Ashleigh Thoroughbreds draft, exciting colt Captivant became the first Group I winner for Newgate Farm’s Capitalist when taking out the Group I ATC Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
An inside barrier and an ice-cool ride by James McDonald paved the way for the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Captivant to earn a well deserved victory.
Captivant has danced every dance since winning the Victory Vein Plate at Randwick on debut last October when he had the honour of being the first winner for his sire.
A fast-finishing fifth in the Golden Slipper, followed by a troubled third in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes, set the handsome colt up for a career peak in the Champagne.
From an inside barrier, McDonald had Captivant travelling we’ll within himself. Unfazed by settling three back on the fence, McDonald switched Captivant out to the running line inside the 300 metres.
He was strong to the line in defeating his old foe Hilal by a neck.
“It was a magic ride. I know we had a good gate but he did all the right moves, gave the horse the rest he needed and waited for as long as he could to balance up again,” Peter Snowded enthused.
“He gave him a squeeze coming to the corner, he picked up for him so he knew he had something there. He gave him another little bit of a rest then asked him for something the last 300 metres.
“The seven furlong race (Sires) and the mile race were the two we targeted. A few little things happened in between times and when we got beaten convincingly in the Sires’, we thought maybe we won’t be able to beat the Godolphin horse (Anamoe) in the Champagne and we might regroup and head to Brisbane.
“The mail came that he (Anamoe) wasn’t going to be here last Saturday, so it was a quick change of plans. The freshen up for a couple of days in the paddock did him the world of good, it was the best he’s ever been out the back and really good in the mounting yard and being back on a good track as well. A few things lined up for him today and he we’re really glad with the result.
“We might give him a break now and head towards the spring. It just shows you the versatility he has. He can be effective at 1200m and up to a mile now, which opens up a few doors for him.”
Captivant has the overall record of two wins and two placings from six starts with prizemoney in excess of $640,000.
Snowden said that it provided further excitement that the winner is by Capitalist.
“It’s really special and he’s had an unbelievable year,” Snowden said.
“To think so many horses have got to the highest level and he had three runners in the Golden Slipper. They’re winning everywhere so he’s done a tremendous job.
“To get a Group 1 winner, I’m glad it was me that had it, it means a lot to me and the family.
“He was a great horse to us and to see his stock going to the races and winning like they are and running like they are, makes us very proud.”
Bred by Senga Bissett and Ivan Woodford-Smith, Captivant is the best of two winners from Speedboat, a half-sister by Commands to stakes-winning sprinter Cross Current and to the dams of Group I winner Crown Prosecutor and Group II winner Willow Creek.
It’s also the family of Group I sprinter River Dove and Group II winning sire Headwater.
Captivant becomes the fourth stakes-winner and first Group I winner for Newgate Farm’s Capitalist, who now tops the list for leading first season sires and also leading 2YO sires.