Captain Dunne primed to end Epsom woes

Connections of Captain Dunne hope it will be third-time lucky in the Investec Entrepreneurial Class “Dash” Handicap at Epsom today.

Middleham Park Racing’s speedster has endured heartbreak in the last two runnings of this valuable sprint.

He was short-headed in the last stride by Indian Trail in 2009 and then fluffed his lines at the start 12 months ago.

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However, the seven-year-old, trained by Tim Easterby, below, appears to be at the top of his game, after being caught on the line at Longchamp last month, as he attempts to defy top weight.

“The race is tailor-made for him,” said Middleham Park Racing’s Tim Palin, who is based in Barton-on-Humber.

“He just got touched off by Indian Trail two years ago and last year he actually pre-empted the stalls – he hit them and was on his back legs as the stalls opened. He got a bloody nose and missed the break. Other than that, Epsom should really suit him down to a tee with it being a downhill track.

“Our only worry is that he’s got 9st 10lb with a rating of 105 and there could be something lurking in the 90s he’s giving a few pounds to that could be a problem.

“I wouldn’t swap him for anything else and we’ve also got two more in there that could run well.”

The owners had planned to have four runners in the race but that is down to three after Crimea scoped dirty.

“We’ve got Fathom Five. He’s perfectly drawn in stall 17 and has got a great strike-rate round Epsom,” Palin continued. “He blew away the cobwebs at Chester the other day and he could be a surprise package.

“We’ve got Jamesway as well. He’s a three-year-old taking on older sprinters from a bad draw (five).

“He’s only got 8st which he’s not used to as he’s been carrying big weights in three-year-old handicaps.

“He looks to have it all on from that draw.”

Kevin Ryan would have preferred higher draws for his three runners.

Masamah (stall eight) is arguably his number one on the strength of his win at York last month.

Oldjoesaid (three) has finished fourth and 10th in the last runnings of this race, while course-and-distance winner Perfect Blossom (six) has not run since August.

“They are all very well and in good form but we could have done with better draws,” said the North Yorkshire handler who also runs On The Dark Side in the Woodcote Stakes.