Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Outstanding young driver Emily Suvaljko chalked up a notable first at Gloucester Park on Friday morning when she landed her first winner for eight-time WA leading trainer Ross Olivieri.
The 20-year-old was at her patient best when she brought Boom Time, third favourite at $4.30, home with a spectacular jet-propelled burst from last on the home turn to snatch a last-stride victory, out five wide, by a head from the $3.20 second fancy Lord Rosco in the 2536m Happy 80TH Birthday Joan Compson Pace.
Boom Time started from the outside barrier in the field of nine and was immediately restrained back to last while Gary Hall jnr shot Lord Rosco to the front from barrier four.
The early pace was modest, and the opening quarter of the final mile was run in a slow 31.4sec. before Hall lifted the tempo with Lord Rosco, who ran the final three 400m sections in 28.8sec., 29.2sec. and 29.1sec.
Boom Time was still last 250m from home and facing a seemingly impossible task when Suvaljko eased the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old three wide. He was still last on the home turn before he thundered home out wide.
“You rarely see a horse coming from last on the home turn to win,” said a surprised Olivieri. “I told Emily to drive Boom Time soft, and to sprint home and aim for fourth place, with anything better a bonus.
“And half-way through the race (after the slow early pace) I felt like running down to the fence and yelling to Emily to pull out and get going around them. But what would I know?
“I engaged Emily to drive Boom Time after Chris Voak decided to drive Major Stare and Chris Lewis was down to drive Our Sequel.”
Suvaljko said she was delighted to drive her first winner for Olivieri. “I think I had driven in only about four or five races for Mr Olivieri,” she said. “I wanted to get going around earlier because they were going that slowly. But Mr Olivieri said he wanted me to drive the horse, sitting up because he had had only one start after a freshen-up.
“So, I drove to instructions, and approaching the home turn I thought we could run a place. But once we straightened up the horse went like a rocket.”
Boom Time has had 44 starts for 13 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $123,943, and Olivieri, who is recovering from surgery to his right shoulder, said he was grateful for the efforts of his wife Jemma Hayman and the stable staff in looking after his team of pacers.
“I think Boom Time will be capable of holding his own against the top ones when he hits top form,” he said. “And based on today’s run, he’s not far off top form.”