Trainer Michael Grantham could not have been any happier with Kaptain Kaos’ return in the Roma Cup (1200m) and has given the thumbs up that the gelding can go even better in Saturday’s Belmont Sprint (1400m) at winter headquarters.
First up from a breakout campaign, Kaptain Kaos had little option but to go back from a wide draw in the Roma Cup, but the manner in which he was able to storm home powerfully and finish seventh behind Elite Street gave Michael Grantham the most satisfaction.
“We knew we were going to be back there in the run, but I was just more happy that he still got home really well along the rail,” Grantham told Tabradio.
“The thing that really inspired me was when he actually got close to them on the line he had to change direction and he went straight through.
“It’s easy to say after crossing the line, but he was passing a heap of them past the post.”
Transferred to Grantham’s stable last year, Kaptain Kaos has thrived under his tutelage with seven wins and two placings from 12 starts.
He reached a personal peak in the Listed Northam Cup (1600m), winning his first feature race when he came with a withering burst from near last.
Buoyed by Kaptain Kaos’ first up run in the Roma Cup, Grantham said the Demerit four-year-old has come back a more nature and robust horse this time in.
“I haven’t had any setbacks or anything since his first-up run,” Grantham said.
“Last prep I was always trying to get him to eat and stuff like that.
“Just this morning he has dived into his feed bin, so he is doing everything right which makes me very happy.”
Kaptain Kaos will target the Hyperion Stakes (1600m) and possibly the Strickland Stakes (200m) following the Belmont Sprint.
After starting from barrier 14 of 16 in the Roma Cup, Grantham is confident Kaptain Kaos can run a competitive race if he draws a gate.
Leading jockey Chris Parnham is back on Kaptain Kaos after riding Free Trade in the Roma Cup.
Meanwhile, while Kaptain Kaos continues his winter campaign, Grantham has elected to end the preparation of promising Playing God gelding, Advanced.
The four-year-old was outstanding first-up at Northam when he by 4 ½ lengths, but pulled up scratchy after his fourth to Above The Peg last Saturday.
“We’ve made the decision to tip him out, I wasn’t happy with the way he pulled up,” Grantham said.
“He’d done his job first up and I wasn’t really happy with the way he pulled up on Saturday.
“He went to the paddock yesterday (Monday).”
Better news for Grantham’s other three-year-old, Devoted. He says the last start winner is on track for the Raconteur Stakes (1500m) and Belmont Guineas (1600m).