By Glenn Davis
The Queensland Derby may have been a mountain too high for promising three-year-old Captivator but trainer Les Kelly still has big race dreams for the former Victorian.
Kelly moved from Ballina in northern NSW to the Gold Coast in 1996 and has an unassailable lead to claim his first Gold Coast trainers’ premiership.
He currently leads with 36 wins, nine clear of nearest rival Toby Edmonds.
Captivator joined Kelly’s Gold Coast stable in the autumn and was a plunge winner in his first start for the stable in a maiden at the Gold Coast in April.
Captivator has won three of his six starts for Kelly and will line up again in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1615m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Captivator was bought at an Inglis on-line auction by part-owner Greg Booth who had kept a close watch on his Victorian performances.
“Greg had followed his Melbourne runs and I think he got him for around $40,000 at one of the Inglis’ on-line auctions,” said Kelly.
“Ever since Greg got him he’s just kept improving up here.”
Kelly believes Captivator is capable of winning a Stakes races in the near future but has yet to map out any plans for the son of the ill-fated sire, Hinchinbrook.
“This horse just keeps progressing and he’s improved out of sight since I first got him,” Kelly said.
“This will be his last run before he goes for a break but if he keeps improving who knows where he could end up.
“But I do think he’s capable of winning a Stakes race at some point.”
During the Brisbane winter carnival, Kelly gave Captivator his chance at Group 1 success in the Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben but he showed he couldn’t stay finishing with the tailenders.
“I threw him in the deep end in the Queensland Derby but he just couldn’t run the distance,” Kelly said.
“I think 1600 metres is his right distance.”
Kelly then produced a master training performance when Captivator dropped back in distance from his Derby run to win a 1400-metre Class Two at the Gold Coast three weeks later.
Captivator is coming off a last start second in the Grafton Guineas (1600m) on July 11 and Kelly is hopeful he can carry that form into his Doomben assignment.
“He kept improving after he won at the Gold Coast so I took him down for the Grafton Guineas,” he said.
“He had 14 alley at Grafton and had to be used up too early which probably cost him the race.”
Racing Queensland webnews July 27