Warwick Farm’s midweek metropolitan program in Sydney commenced with a 3YO Maiden Handicap over 1300m which saw two prodigiously untapped talents in the form of Captivare and Tamerlane fight out the result — both out on the racetrack, as well as in the stewards' room.
And while Captivare proved to be first horse across the finishing line, it was Tamerlane that was ultimately adjudged the winner after a prolonged inquiry following the lodging of a protest by the latter’s partner Hugh Bowman.
Forced to lead in the contest when all eight riders involved displayed a genuine reluctance to make the running, Tommy Berry aboard Captivare took the initiative to show the way during the early stages.
Subsequently set alight at the top of the straight by Berry, Captivare first fought off the challenge of the eventual minor placegetter Cat D’Oro and then Tamerlane soon afterwards.
Having been ridden just off the pace in the early stages, Tamerlane had made relentless progress over the closing stages and only just failed to claim Captivare in a very close photo-finish.
What hadn’t been completely obvious to the naked eye, however, was the fact that Captivare had drifted four-to-five horses off the fence when put under most pressure, and had caused acute interference to the minor placegetter Cat D’Oro and to Tamerlane to a lesser degree.
Such was the nature of the finish, Bowman felt justified in firing in a protest against the winner and was ultimately awarded the race following a very lengthy deliberation.
An overseas-conceived Darley home-bred by the celebrated Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Golden Horn, Tamerlane was only having his second career outing after debuting in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) last March.
A grandson of the Ingham-raced Golden Slipper winner Forensics, Tamerlane was only beaten just over three lengths at his previous outing and displayed enough raw ability when being awarded his first career victory to suggest the princely-bred colt has a very bright black-type future waiting ahead.
The same sentiment most definitely applies to Captivare, who lost very little in defeat — other than the race itself of course.
A $1.4 million yearling sale purchase by I Am Invincible having his first start in a couple of months after being gelded, Captivare should soon make amends for losing today’s race in the stewards' room before going on to win better quality events later in the season.
Tamerlane was sent to post the $2.70 favourite, while Captivare was returned at $4.40 and Cat D’Oro at $2.80.
Winning time of the race was 1m17.17s (last 600m in 34.85s).
Though the first two placings were reversed, a short half-head had separated Captivare and Tamerlane on crossing the line, with Cat D’Oro finishing a further one-and-a-half lengths adrift in third.
ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap, photo finish picture ATC