August 19, 2023 Michael Court
IN the end, ‘Singo’ didn’t need any expert help.
He just had to salute ‘The Captain’.
And David Moran, of course, as he and Captain Hammerhead made a one-act affair of the $50,000 The Singo at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight.
While entrepreneur John Singleton was waiting to make the final selection for the field for the $2.1m TAB Eureka in two weeks’ time, the decision was pretty-much made for him.
Aided by a perfect drive from the gun Victorian horseman, Captain Hammerhead became the final horse into the field and the second three-year-old to make the grade when Singo confirmed he would take the last slot in the race.
Captain Hammerhead ($4.60) could scarcely have been more impressive, scooting away in the final stages to account for Naturally Gifted (Cameron Hart) and Heza Son Of Agun (Matthew Craven), scoring by 2.6m in a 1:54.4 mile rate over the 2400m journey.
While Moran had expected to hold the lead from the inside gate, he decided to hand up the front to Heza Son Of Agun who, in turn handed up to the favourite Tims A Trooper.
Captain Hammerhead settled back in fourth on the pegs but Moran found a path away from the pegs going up the back the last time, gained a little bit of cover from Naturally Gifted for a few hundred metres and strode into the action turning for home.
Naturally Gifted fought back strongly but was no match for the winner and it took Singleton little time to decide this was the horse for him, giving the Eureka two top-notch three-year-olds with Captain Hammerhead and The Lost Storm to take on the nation’s best four-year-olds in the big race.
“We haven’t met The Lost Storm in a race before, so it should be interesting,” said Moran.
“My bloke is a better horse now, he’s matured and he’s up for the challenge.”
Moran drives the Menangle track as well as anyone and was first past the post in an Inter Dominion final there a couple of years ago, before losing it in the stewards’ room.
The Eureka might just be the perfect time for revenge.