“Champions are champions not because they do anything extraordinary but because they do the ordinary things better than anyone else.”
- Gerhard, good day and welcome. It’s so nice to catch up with you today. Is he the best you’ve ever trained?
Thanks for the interview, and the opportunity to talk about these cartoon horses that we love so much.
Captain’s Crusade has to top the list, with Captain’s Monk a short head behind her. They both achieved things that I am very proud of.
- How great was he on the racecourse?
He was just a very good racehorse, that just did what was asked of him. He always had the edge on the others in his age group in terms of overall rating and experience. The role played by jockeys that sat on his back, shouldn’t be underestimated. A good jockey can improve a horse if he is a good fit for him. They are an important part of the horse race. They can hurt your horses’ chances, by going wide, moving too soon or running into trouble. Both his regular partners had amazing racing brains and he loved to run for them.
- Your passion for the game, determination and willpower to succeed is second to none. Can you tell us a little bit more about where it all started?
After reading about the game on a local racing forum, I decide to give it a go. I gave up after a week or two, but came back a few weeks later to give it another go. I tried to learn as much as possible by reading other people’s blogs, the help me and demystifying threads etc. After many failures in cup finals, I contemplated quitting the game, but being a stubborn person, I just wanted to at least win one world cup, before I go. It took me near three years to achieve that, and that was only with the help from one of my heroes in this game.
Captain’s Monk journey started when I decided to match up Poseidon and Captain’s Baroness in season 40, and for once the breeding gods shined on my poor old breeding stable. With starting stats of 3-7-8-7-7, it really was a no-brainer to keep him.
- When Captain Monk won the Triple Crown what was your feeling leading up to that race and how did you feel after the race. And did you feel any pressure of trying to win it when you knew that three other champion stable already succeeded in winning the crown?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams – Eleanor Roosevelt”.
Winning the Triple Crown for me is the pinnacle in this game. It’s hard to win, and that’s how it should be. To be part of that exclusive club is something special.
The thought of going for the Triple Crown, was never in my mind. It was only after the win in the Lowe Guineas that I decided to give it a go. No one died from trying.
The first leg (Lowe Guineas) was over 1800m and on dead ground; Captain’s Monk didn’t have any trouble beating the field. The second leg (Australian Cup) was over fast ground, and the absence of one or two runners from strong racing stables helped his cause. I can only race against those who turns up. I was sweating bullets in the week leading up to the final of last leg (Jewel Of The Mile); the hardest part was already done, winning the legs over dead and fast ground. I knew I had a great chance of pulling it off, but in this game you never know, what will happen on the day. My race instructions for final were not ideal, but I really didn’t want to give the others a sniff of a chance.
- What would you say was his best performance, the one that most sticks in your mind?
The race that stands out is the second Sussex Stakes that he won. He plugged away hard against the inside rail, cutting throats with Addie Over Smokey and Yippee Skippy. Captain’s Monk had to turn on the jets in the last quarter to get the verdict by a short head from a determined Addie Over Smokey.
- 18 total World & Regional Cups combined that’s including the Triple Crown Trophy. A total of 5 Magic Mile Cups which is unprecedented by one horse, he is the first horse in Track King History to ever do this. What motivated you to want to accomplish such a remarkable feat?
I have to thank a dear friend of mine for that. We were discussing the future of Captain’s Monk after winning the Pegasus Plate as a five year old. The next target was supposed to be the Movember Cup early the next season. Unfortunately that cup got cancelled. He mentioned that no other horse has won five Magic Miles, and that I should be brave and just go for it. With careful planning we made it happen.
- You had great horses like Captain Crusade, Poseidon, Ajax, Captain Quest and many others. What made Captain Monk characteristics special to you?
To be honest, I don’t know. Since day one he just was an unbelievable easy horse to train and race. He got into stride very quickly, had a massive engine, and as soon as he was leading, it was hard to peg him back. He always took his races well, never shown any signs of IP. Just a lovely horse to own.
- You’ve achieved so much in the game, but what would be your greatest goal or motivation that keeps driving you now? Is there any specific race that you’d want to win or is there any specific thing that you’d like to achieve that just keeps you driving, because all successful people or at least … Most successful people have this goal that they place out there. Something to work towards. What would yours be if I were to ask you that question here and now?
Difficult question to answer. My focus has always been on winning world cups, and I am happy with what I have achieved so far. Perhaps another Triple Crown further down the line would be nice, however I am not going to lose any sleep, if that doesn’t happen.
- Any of your current horses that you feel has the x-factor that is in the same league as Captain Monk or close?
It’s hard to single anyone out; they all been good to me. They do show flashes of brilliance now and then.
- We will miss this great champion as he prepare to enter the Hall of Fame where his record will stand the test of time forever or in retrospect maybe even be known as the greatest miler ever. Your final thought on this and where would you place him against some of the former great champion to race on Track King?
I would like to sit on the fence for this one, as it’s easy to make a case for everyone. People love to compare current stars to past greats. There are countless ways to analyze data, appraise achievements and wonder how modern players would fare against players of prior generations. Let’s not try to compare Captain’s Monk with any other racehorse. They all unique. They all champions in their own right. Let’s just enjoy them.
Captain’s Monk would always put his heart on the line in every race. He was a fantastic racehorse – a flag bearer for my stable – and I was fortunate to be connected with him.