Kapsboy jumps back into top form

Lee Somervell believes a bout of schooling over fences is responsible for the return to top form of his promising young galloper Kapsboy.

Kapsboy, a half-brother by Ishiguru to the stable star Fleur de Lune, won on debut at Rotorua 12 months ago and had to settle for four placings in eight starts before breaking through for his second win when taking the Jeremy Pryor-Bayleys 1400 at Tauranga today.

“I’ve put the blinkers back on him, but I think it’s the jumping that has made the big difference,” said Somervell. “He’s not the greatest jumper and he’s been only popping over logs, but the jumping has helped put his mind on the job. He’s definitely more focused.”

Kapsboy raced in blinkers for the first time when finishing third in his second start, in the Listed Ryder Stakes at Otaki last July, but Somervell removed the headgear when he resumed at Rotorua last month. Kapsboy finished eighth in that event, then improved to run second on the same track 17 days later when the blinkers were back on.

Kapsboy was beaten a mere nose in that Rotorua race before running third behind Sophie’s Gem at Te Rapa a fortnight ago. That performance convinced Somervell he was close to another win.

Ridden as usual by Jason Jago, Kapsboy was always travelling like a winner today and he had his rivals in trouble when he kicked clear early in the run home. He then kept up a solid gallop to score by two and a quarter lengths from another Cambridge galloper, Cornelius, while Move Faster, the horse who had beaten him in last year’s Ryder Stakes, was a fighting third.

Somervell is uncertain where to head next with Kapsboy. “There’s nothing ambitious in mind,” he said. “He’ll just stick to the grades. He likes the wet tracks so he’ll get plenty of chances.”