A win in Saturday’s 2013 Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben will see $3,000 bargain buy Morning Captain hit over half a million in career earnings, something the owner of the Kelly Doughty-trained galloper could only ever have dreamed of.
One of 14 hopes engaged in the $175,000 Listed SKY Racing Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) on Saturday, Danbird gelding Morning Captain was snapped up for a steal as a yearling.
Doughty and her husband Gary paid just 3k for them from the 2010 Magic Millions gold Coast Yearling Sales before selling them on to Vince Dickson for the same price, and have already enjoyed watching them win $438,500 in prize money.
“We were leaving the complex and noticed a nice type of yearling getting ready to enter the sale ring. He was by a virtually unknown sire in Danbird,” she said.
“After a quick debate we decided to wait and the first bid was $2700. We went to $3000 and the rest is history.”
Those earnings will surpass $500,000 on the weekend should the now five-year-old continue their recent good form win a win in Brisbane’s black type offering a $112,000 first prize.
In the latest Lough Neagh Stakes odds Morning Captain pays $6.50 as one of six single figure chances in the summer classic.
They’ve drawn just worse than midfield in barrier nine and will carry 58kg trailing only last start winner Mahisara (59kg) in the weights.
While the barrier and kilos go against them, their lead-up form has been outstanding and really looks hard to fault.
After winning third-up at Eagle Farm over 1300m, following two close seconds in Brisbane over 1200m, they went up to stakes company for the first time this prep when a half length away third to Better Than Ready in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) on November 23.
Last start they were at Doomben on December 7 coming within a long neck when runner-up to Lucky Hussler in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m).
Four-year-old Lucky Hussler is now the $4 favourite in Lough Neagh Stakes betting, the Kent Fleming-trained gelding tipped as the one to beat from barrier four.
Still, Morning Captain’s Gold Coast-trainer Doughty believes their horse won’t be going down without another serious fight.
“He might never win a Stradbroke or any Group One race but he has been great for us,” Doughty told AAP.
“He handles wet and dry and more importantly he tries every time he goes around.
“Every trainer would love 10 of him.”
Saturday will be the horse’s 14th black type assignment.
While they’ve consistently been good in stakes company, to date they’ve only won one of those races having taken out the Listed Queensland Day handicap over the 1350m at Doomben as a three-year-old back in April of 2012.
They’re set to appreciate that same track and distance on Saturday then which they see for the first time since their close fourth, beaten just one and a quarter lengths, to Belltone in the Group 3 BRC Sprint back in May of this year.
Whether you’re sticking with the favourite to go back-to-back in Brisbane, or have Morning Captain selected as the one to beat in Doomben Race 8 on the weekend, make sure you lock in the best odds by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Remember too to take advantage of their sign-up summer bonus matching your first deposit dollar for dollar as a bonus welcome bet valued up to $250 this season!