Major Martini Ready To Go

Major Martini is going from strength to strength and his trainer Justin Prentice declares that he is looking forward to the challenge of clashing with other talented youngsters in the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park next Friday week.

Major Martini gave yet another wonderful display of his outstanding ability when he crushed his rivals in the 2536m Intersport Slater Gartrell Western Gateway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Driven with supreme confidence by Prentice, Major Martini burst straight to the front from barrier two and after comfortable opening quarters of the final mile in 31.2sec. and 29.9sec. he dashed over the final 400m sections in  28sec. and 27.9sec. to beat stablemate Gardys Legacy by three and a half lengths at a 1.57 rate. 

It was a commanding performance at his first appearance over the Derby trip of 2536m and Prentice said that the gelding felt really good. “He hasn’t done a lot of racing in front, so it was good for him to get a bit of education,” he said.

“It would be nice if he could keep that barrier draw (No. 2). He won with a bit in reserve. He’s not the type who will run away from them (the opposition). He sort of waits for them a bit. However, he was getting away from them on the line tonight.”

In the latest news on the Derby, Line Up, a winner at three of his nine starts in New Zealand and the winner of the Victoria Derby at Melton and the New South Wales Derby at Menangle, will be unable to contest the big race due to travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There was plenty of action early in Friday night’s race, with Howard Hughes going forward from the outside barrier (No. 9) before getting to the breeze after 600m. Franco Ecuador, from the outside of the back line, also raced wide in the first lap to move into third place before Kim Prentice restrained him to the rear when Ryan Warwick made it clear that he was not about to surrender the position outside Major Martini.

Gardys Legacy enjoyed the perfect trip behind the pacemaker and held on for second, narrowly ahead of Star Fromthepalace, the rank outsider and only filly in the event. Star Fromthepalace, trained by Peter Anderson and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, raced four back on the pegs and finished strongly along the inside to come from sixth on the home turn.

Valentines Brook, who raced three back on the pegs, finished fourth and Mach Da Vinci, at his WA debut, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, was a fair fifth. Howard Hughes and Franco Ecuador paid the price for covering extra ground in the first lap and they finished eighth and tenth, respectively.