By Isaac Murphy
Capital Gain had the world at his feet when he won the Group One JJ Atkins Two-Year-Old’s in 2017, but in the time since a litany of injuries saw the now four-year-old gelding go on a 595-day drought from the winner’s circle.
But trainer Paul Butterworth and connections need wait no more as Capital Gain made an emotional return to the winner’s list claiming the Open Handicap over 2400m at Corbould Park yesterday.
Butterworth outlined the struggles the camp has had to get the horse back to his best and praised a race winning move from Larry Cassidy who set the horse alight from the tail around five furlongs out, holding off I Feel Good by a neat length.
“It’s been a tough road with all the setbacks he’s had so it’s a bit emotional for all of us to see him get back on the winners list today after eighteen months in the wilderness,” Butterworth said.
“I love Larry (Cassidy) riding him. Larry just gets the horse.”
“You’ve got to go early especially when we found ourselves at the tail of the field carrying 59kg, fantastic ride and a big win by the horse.”
Capital Gain was showing signs of getting back to his best with a close fifth two starts back at Doomben before struggling at Eagle Farm last week, leading to concerns on whether to run him on Sunshine Coast Cup day.
“The track was to firm for him at Eagle Farm last week and we were tossing and turning earlier in the whether we were coming,” Butterworth said.
“Larry (Cassidy) jumped on him early in the week and said he felt pretty good and he was spot on.”
Butterworth said the horse was back to a level of fitness where all things considered he should be competitive under most race conditions and joked Kiwi Cassidy should perhaps keep the Australia Day silks on.
“When he’s right he runs well, if he doesn’t put in one hundred percent you know there’s a problem because that’s just not in his nature,” he said.
“He said (Larry Cassidy) before the race he should be in black, but he looks far better in the Aussie colours I reckon.”