Young gun Garrard finally gets a good draw with unlucky Captain Nemo on Saturday night

Captain Nemo, who looked a certainty beaten in his last start, finally lands a good draw at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Young gun driver Angus Garrard’s first words to trainer Mark Dux on bringing Captain Nemo back last Saturday night were that the horse should have won, and won easily.

Taken back from five on the gate, Nemo ended up four deep on the markers and was full of running when Garrard eased him into the running line just before the home turn.

But there was no way through for Garrard up the entire home straight and for the last 100 metres he had the horse under a hold, hard on the backs of the first two home.

Angus Garrard drove his 700th winner at Redcliffe on Thursday night. PHOTO: Dan Costello.Angus Garrard drove his 700th winner at Redcliffe on Thursday night. PHOTO: Dan Costello.Garrard, 20, who notched his 500th winner on Captain Nemo in December, 2022 and on Thursday reined home win No. 700, has a much kinder draw of two this week from where Dux expects him to either lead or, more likely trail.

“We should cross the one (Blackjack Bart) and whether we hold will depend on how fast Parama comes out. He won well the other day.”

Dux believes Nemo is in the top three chances but rates Red Right Hand the one to beat.

“He’s been flying and, like us, hasn’t had much luck. And he’s down in grade. If we get behind one of those two we’ll get a nice trip.

“We could even hold the lead if they don’t charge out. At least we have a couple of options.”

Dux says Captain Nemo has done well since his race last week and he believes he has most of the others covered over the 2138 metres in what is a good band 5 event.

Dux says he’ll be surprised if Argyle doesn’t go well too in the fifth race, despite drawing three on the second row.

Driven conservatively last week in his first run for six weeks, when well short of a run, Argyle finished only eighth but still clocked excellent figures.

His sectionals of 30.28, 30.94, 27.54 and 27.56 nearly matched those of the winner Catseye Beach (30.45, 30.94, 27.71 and 27.23), his last half of 55.1 little inferior to the winner’s 54.94.

Given Catseye Beach was in front and on the markers, Argyle’s effort was solid as he covered 21 metres more in the running.

“He pulled up well and I think he’s a good hope. The alley’s not so nice but if we have to use him at some stage to put him in the race, we probably will.

“If he’d drawn well you’d think he was a winner but I still think he’ll finish thereabouts and is a top three chance. The harder they go, the better for us, and I can see Pete McMullen launching on Jaccka Wally.”

Captain Nemo races at 9.45pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Captain Nemo races at 9.45pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Argyle races at 10.50pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Argyle races at 10.50pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Dan Costello Race Photography