Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Richly talented four-year-old Major Martini has recovered from leg problems and is poised to make a successful return to racing when he contests the 2536m Better Your Bet With TABtouch RWWA Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“It’s exciting to have him back,” said champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr. “We know how good he is and I’m looking forward to driving him this week.”
Major Martini, trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, has amassed $267,218 in prizemoney from six wins and seven placings from 14 starts and is certain to prove very hard to beat at his first appearance for 19 months when he begins from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night.
He has been on the sidelines since he covered a lot of extra ground and finished a neck second to Patronus Star in the $200,000 WA Derby early in April 2020. He gave a sample of his class at his two previous outings when he scored effortless victories in the Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings and the Western Gateway Pace.
Highlights of his two-year-old season were wins in two $100,000 group 1 feature events, the Sales Classic and Westbred Classic.
Major Martini showed that he is ready for a first-up win when he worked brilliantly in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra three Wednesdays ago. He raced wide early and then without cover before going to the post hard-held by Hall and a short half-head winner over the pacemaker Im Soxy. He sped over the final 400m in 27.2sec. on a heavy, rain-affected track.
“The track was terrible,” said Hall. “Justin was tossing up whether to send him round or not. He left it up to me, and when I got out there, the track seemed all right, under foot. So, we pressed on, and he went to the line, bolting.”
From barrier two, Major Martini should be able to get to the front in the early stages. His major opposition in the field of seven is likely to come from consistent four-year-old Otis, the in-form five-year-old Bettorstartdreaming, and the polemarker and last-start winner Euphoria.