Nick Olive is hoping a good run in Sydney this Saturday can kick start a Magic Millions Stayers’ Cup 2014 bid in Queensland next month for his in-form mare Capital Commander.
The six-year-old daughter of Commands is out to earn a trip to the sunshine state on January 11 for a shot at the $200,000 Magic Millions Stayers Cup (1800m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.
A winner of eight of her 38 starts to date, Capital Commander has been in very good form this preparation.
She won at Randwick two back in a Benchmark 85 over the mile before her last start second behind Solemn at the Kensington track on November 23 over 1550m.
This weekend Olive plans to run the Canberra-based mare at Kensington again having nominated her for yet another handicap, this one up over 1800m.
It will be her first look at further than a mile and her trainer hopes it will prove she’s got late career staying potential after blitzing the sprints all throughout her time on the track.
If that turns out to be true she’ll be Magic Millions bound for one of the support races on the lucrative restricted summer race meet.
The mare has featured in the past two Magic Millions Race Days on the Gold Coast having run third to Bennetta this year in the $200,000 Fillies and Mares Handicap (1300m) when failing to defend the title she won in 2012 in her maiden Queensland start.
She’s been in top form again recently however after a career at stud was sidelined for an extra year.
“She’s eating better and she looks better. Everything is a lot better about her than in previous preparations,” he told AAP.
Olive is trying something similar to what he did with another Commands galloper he prepared, Voice Commander.
They started out as a pure sprinter during their early preparation, failing in their one 2000m start in the mud in the 2008 Tulloch Stakes.
They were kept at a mile and under right through until May 2011 when they won a number of feature distance races including the Gundagai Cup (1800m), the Queanbeyan Cup (2000m) and the Listed Wagga Gold Cup (2000m).
“She (Capital Commander) gives me the impression she is a bit like Voice Commander, another horse I had who sprinted early on in his career,” Olive said.
“When we pushed him out over a bit of distance he won the Wagga Cup and a Listed race in town over 2000 (metres).
“He probably had the best form of his career over the distance in the end.”
Capital Commander will face a maximum of nine rivals in Saturday’s race after it drew a total of 10 nominations.
She’s weighted on 58.5kg, trailing only the Chris Waller-trained duo of Index Linked (59.5kg) and Madam Nash (59kg).
There will be a three kilogram weight relief off that for her however with Olive to engage the services of apprentice rider Winona Costin.
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