Part-time Tamworth trainer and self-employed welder Jacob Perrett will test stable star Capitano’s mettle as he chases a maiden city success.
Perrett has five horses in work with Capitano leading the charge to give him his first Sydney winner in Saturday’s TAB Rewards Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill.
He originally leased Capitano with his father-in-law Gary Germon but before the horse’s debut the pair arranged to buy him outright.
After Germon died in July 2014, his wife Jenelle took over the ownership and now races the horse with Perrett.
Family is also how Perrett became a trainer, growing up around his father’s stable at Inverell.
“He’s always had horses since I was little and can remember so it’s gone through the family,” Perrett said.
While Capitano was eligible for Racing NSW’s Breeder Owner Bonus Scheme, Perrett let that slide by waiting until the horse was a four-year-old before starting him.
“I got him as a late two-year-old but I didn’t rush him,” Perrett said.
“I think it’s proven now that’s what he needed, just a bit of time to mature.”
Capitano won his first three starts and has six wins from 20 attempts ahead of his first race as a seven-year-old.
He has two midweek placings at Warwick Farm but Perrett has tinkered with his approach ahead of his next Sydney start by trialling him on Melbourne Cup day at Tamworth.
“He usually goes to the races without trialling, but I just wanted to make sure he was rock solid heading to Sydney first-up,” Perrett said.
Capitano goes up against Raphael’s Cat who was Group Two placed as a three-year-old and returns after more than a year away from racing.
Sugar Bay Leonard, Nieta and Infra Dig are all last-start winners rising in grade.
While Perrett isn’t underestimating the task which awaits Capitano, he is boosted by the horse’s first-up record of two wins and a third from four races.
“He’s getting better with age,” Perrett said.
“The older he’s getting the smarter he’s getting and the better races he’s running.”
Perrett has enlisted Tamworth jockey Darren Jones who will also ride Lonely Orphan for local trainer Leslie Jeffriess in the 2400m benchmark handicap.