MUCH improved mare Doubtful Miss helped Canberra’s premier trainer Nick Olive dominate yesterday’s $50,000 City Handicap.
Doubtful Miss ($6) edged out stablemate Capital Commander ($3.50f) in a thrilling three-way race to the line with local mare Chinzia.
They’re words you rarely, if ever, hear from a trainer’s mouth but Olive said he wouldn’t have hated a dead heat.
“I thought they were going to at one stage,” he said.
“I’ve got shares in both these horses.
“Capital Commander is on the way out, so it would have been nice to see her win.
“It’s probably with a touch of sadness she got beat because she’s only got a few runs left before she goes to stud.
“But you can’t be disappointed when you win the race, that’s for sure.”
Doubtful Miss sat close to the front of the field the entire race, with Capital Commander and Brett Cavanough’s Boys On Tour taking the early lead.
The topweight faded in the straight, with Doubtful Miss joining her stablemate in the lead.
Chinzia flashed home late to almost pinch a win at long odds.
Olive said Doubtful Miss deserved her victory.
“She’s been very unlucky last two starts in good races so it was her time to probably break through,” he said.
“This horse is definitely on the way up.
“She’s improved out of sight this preparation.
“She’s only a little thing but has been terrific.”
With seven starts since the start of the year, Olive said he was unsure what to do with the mare following yesterday’s victory.
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“We’ll see how she pulls up,” he said.
“It’s a day by day thing.
“If she pulls up well, we might give her another run.
“If not, we’ll spell her.”
Next month’s Orange Cup is on the radar for Capital Commander.
“I only started her because I thought she needed a run beforehand,” Olive said.
“As it turned out, the race probably suited her and she went terrific.
“I’m really proud of her, too.”
Winning jockey Richard Bensley, riding at Albury for the first time since breaking his wrist at the track in January, couldn’t have been happier.
“It’s always hard when you come back from an injury but I got great support from Nick,” he said.
“You know if you turn up, he’ll give you the rides.”