'Chaplin-like' Sweet 'can play big role in sprints'
Captain Sweet is so badly put together conformation-wise that his front legs look like they've been put on backwards, but a fighting win in the Sha Tin Vase showed he could help fill the growing gap at the elite end of the local spiriting ranks.
After the retirement of four-time champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom, Lucky Nine focusing on events up to a mile, Entrapment sidelined and Joy And Fun a rising nine-year-old, an opportunity to step into a growing void exists for the next crop of speedsters.
Despite having legs so turned-in, he was described as 'pigeon-toed' by winning jockey Brett Prebble, Captain Sweet put his name forward as a contenders by hauling 131 pounds in a six-horse race, getting a bob on the line to beat Arrived Ahead.
'He has a reverse Charlie Chaplin walk,' the horse's trainer John Moore said. 'But he has got a hell of a motor and we saw it there today, carrying that big weight, he really had to dig deep.'
Moore had pushed Captain Sweet along the obligatory path of classy four-year-old's, with starts in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Mile and Classic Cup, where the brave gelding put in his only two unplaced runs of what is now a 10-race season that has garnered three victories.
An overall record of eight wins from 18 starts reads like that of a good horse, and Moore foresees the son of Fastnet Rock, who is easily the best of the now-scrapped Subscription Griffin scheme, in next season's Group One sprints.
'He gets 1,400m and even a mile, but the race he will be aimed at will be the Hong Kong Sprint on International Day,' the trainer said. 'For now we'll look at the Prince Jewellery & Watch Premier Cup over 1,400m in three weeks.'
It was Prebble's second ride on Captain Sweet after a third in the Group Two Sprint Cup to Little Bridge at the end of April and he was taken by Captain Sweet's tenacity.
'His conformation is why his action is like that, he is very different, but today he was quite comfortable and he gave me a nice little kick when I asked him and he toughed it out with the big weight ' he said.
'He is a very adaptable horse, he is very honest and never shirks the issue, you'd like them all to be as honest as him.'
Prebble didn't hesitate when suggesting Captain Sweet could mix it with the best, but said a decent break might be required after his rigorous season.
'They stretched him out trying to get longer and he has had a tough time of it,' he said. 'I thought today that he was going to win by three-quarters of a length or a length, but he has just got the bob in.
'I feel that next season, as a fresh horse, he could be one of those sneaky sprinters. There is a big gap there, really there is only Little Bridge, and he can't be there in every race.
'This little horse just never stops trying, he is a lovely little racehorse and I just think next year with fresh legs he'll play a part in some of those big sprint races because of the big hole there.'
The amazing winning strike rate John Moore and Brett Prebble have enjoyed this season as a team