Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
The $200,000 Golden Nugget in December this year is the long-range target for up-and-coming star pacer Mighty Ronaldo, who gave a sample of his class when he scored an effortless victory in the Retravision, Lowest Price Guarantee Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Having his second start after a nine-month absence, the Alta Christiano four-year-old was a hot $1.30 favourite from the No. 2 barrier in the 2130m event, and Gary Hall jnr was content to take the trail behind the polemarker and pacemaker Sir Galahad.
After a slow 38.9sec. lead time and modest opening quarters of 30.2sec. and 30.1sec. Sir Galahad, driven by Callan Suvaljko charged through the third 400m section of the final mile in 27.7sec. before Hall eased Mighty Ronaldo into the clear at the 300m and the gelding surged to the front 100m from the post to win by more than two lengths from $18 chance Nota Bene Denario, who had raced without cover before taking a narrow lead on the home turn.
Mighty Ronaldo’s win came after the first-up disappointment of meeting with severe interference approaching the home turn in a qualifying heat of the Nights of Thunder two weeks earlier.
“We will look to racing him fortnightly,” said trainer Justin Prentice. “The Golden Nugget at the end of the year; that’s his major objective.”
Mighty Ronaldo, winner of the WA Derby last April, has earned $287,402 from six wins and eight placings from 21 starts.