Trainer Kelly Doughty is hopeful Chris Munce can bring about a change of stable fortune aboard Morning Captain at Doomben.
Morning Captain steps up in distance past 1200 metres for the first time in Saturday’s ANZA Communications Handicap (1350m).
The son of Danbird is yet to win from his four starts but has earned a prizemoney cheque on each occasion with three seconds and a last-start fourth.
The three-year-old was unplaced for the first time in his career when fading behind Emmalene over 1200 metres on a heavy track at Eagle Farm earlier this month.
Gold Coast jockey Matt Palmer has ridden Morning Captain at his past three starts but will miss the Doomben meeting due to a careless riding suspension.
Doughty planned to use her stable apprentice Patrick Keane on Morning Captain before the young rider broke his right leg at the Gold Coast jumpouts on Tuesday.
“I had planned to use Pat and his three-kilo allowance until he broke his leg,” Doughty said.
“Normally I wouldn’t use an apprentice on him but Patrick rides the horse in all his work and knows him well.”
Keane was indentured to Victorian trainer Doug Harrison at Cranbourne before transferring to Doughty 12 months ago.
He landed his first Saturday win in Queensland aboard the Lawrie Mayfield-Smith-trained Looped at Eagle Farm on October 1.
Morning Captain was a cheap $3500 buy for Vince Dickson who owns a Brisbane advertising company and has already paid for himself with $25,000 in prizemoney.
Doughty has no reason to doubt Morning Captain’s ability to step up to 1350 metres for the first time.
“I took his blinkers off last start for the first time and he settled beautifully when he raced up near the lead,” she said.
“There were no excuses for his defeat. I just think the others were too brilliant for him over 1200 metres.
“I think he’s been looking for this distance and he should run it out.”
Doughty is unsure of Morning Captain’s immediate program and hasn’t ruled out a trip interstate.
“He’s eligible for BOBS races in Sydney and it’s not out of the question that he could go down for a race later on,” she said.
Doughty doesn’t envisage Munce having any trouble slotting Morning Captain over close to the lead from barrier nine.
“Kelbenjar goes forward and he’s drawn inside us so Chris should be able to get a cart across,” she said.
The Natalie McCall-trained Kelbenjar led all the way to win over 1200 metres at Doomben on September 24.
The son of Kbenjar then reared at the start and took no part in the race won by Emmalene at Eagle Farm on October 8 before his third to Another Superior over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm last week.