Commander to take harder road to Millions
Mandy Cottell
17:37 AEST Thu Dec 13 2012

With the goal of a Magic Millions repeat looming large, trainer Nick Olive has opted to start dual acceptor Capital Commander over 1400 metres at Rosehill on Saturday.

The mare was also paid up for a 1200-metre event but was given 60.5kg, compared to 56.5kg in the Parramatta Leagues Club Handicap (1400m).

Olive said the weight factor and distance had a major bearing on his decision to tackle what he conceded was a harder option.

"If we went to the other race I would have had to claim and I'd prefer a senior jockey on," Olive said.

"Her whole campaign has been leading to the Magic Millions and this will be her last start before that race so I wanted a senior rider and less weight.

"I'd also rather start her over 1400 and come back to the 1300, rather than step up in trip.

"It's probably a harder race but the conditions suit her a bit better."

Capital Commander won the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast carnival this year.

She is being prepared for a defence of that title and Olive feels the five-year-old is in better shape compared to 12 months ago.

While she began her current campaign in August, she hasn't been overtaxed and Olive has deliberately spaced her runs.

"We worked out that a month between runs is when she performs best and since we've started doing that she hasn't run a bad race," he said.

Capital Commander will have Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle and comes into Saturday's race off the back of consecutive seconds in the Listed Nivison at Randwick in October and Snake Gully Cup at Gundagai last month.

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