Michael Grantham hasn’t lost faith in Kaptain Kaos and believes he is capable of returning to the winner’s list in Saturday’s Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont.

It hasn’t been a kind 12-months for Kaptain Kaos who has been unable to replicate black-type form since winning the G3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) a year ago.

Despite not showing his best for a while, Grantham’s confidence in Kaptain Kaos returning to the winner’s circle is founded on his previous run.

After he was well beaten first-up in the Belmont Sprint (1400m), Kaptain Kaos showed improvement in the Hyperion Stakes when fifth to Startrade, beaten 2 ½ lengths.

Buoyed by the effort and third up this campaign, Grantham says he expects Kaptain Kaos to produce an even stronger performance in the Strickland Stakes.

“I was over the moon by the run to be honest,” Grantham said on Tabradio.

“He has come along in leaps and bounds from that.

“At one stage I thought he was going to pop through the gap at the top of the straight.

“I’m hoping his peak fitness will be for Saturday and I think he will definitely get the 2000m.”

Kaptain Kaos has drawn the widest gate in the Strickland Stakes.

Grantham says he expects jockey Joe Azzopardi to be assertive from barrier seven.

“I will get Joey to ride a lot more positively and if the lead is there we will take it or sit outside of the leader,” Grantham said.

“There’s no point going back because I’ve got him at his peak.

“You can’t afford to give these better horses a head start.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise if he did win because I’ve done my best to get him here for the last two weeks.”

Kaptain Kaos is currently $17 with Tabtouch, firming from his opening quote of $21.

Dom To Shoot, runner-up to Startrade in the Hyperion Stakes, holds $2.70 favouritism.

Queen Alina is $4.20, Startrade $4.80, Last Of The Line $5.50 and Notorious One $8.

Holly Enchantment is the outsider of the field at $17.

Grantham hopes Kaptain Kaos can follow in the footsteps of stable mate Noteworthy, a strong winner at Belmont on Wednesday.

It was the three-year-old’s first win back from an injured eye and second overall from six career starts.

Grantham refused to accept any accolades for the win, instead heaping all praise to his mom Kellie and vets for nursing the filly back to full fitness.

“She got an eye abscess which turned into an ulcer,” Grantham said.

“So, it’s a big shout out to mum and the West Coast Veterinary clinic.

“Mum was giving her eye ointment three times a day and it’s back to normal now which is a bit of a relief.

“Full credit to her, I don’t even get to ride her, she does all her gallops.

“That’s her horse.”

Julio Santarelli