Classy New Zealand-bred six-year-old Mighty Conqueror made a triumphant return to action after a spell when he raced without cover and scored a thrilling short half-head victory over his four-year-old stablemate Patronus Star in the 2130m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The American Ideal gelding was driven with great confidence by star reinsman Ryan Warwick, and he started at the remarkably good price of $9.30.
The polemarker Ideal Liner ($4.20) was the smartest to begin, and Warwick got Mighty Conqueror away fast from barrier six and quickly assumed the breeze position, with Cyclone Banner enjoying an ideal trail behind the leader, and Patronus Star in the favourable one-out-one-back position
Chicago Bull, favourite at $3.70, was not bustled early from his outside barrier (No. 8) and was ninth in the one-wide line at the bell before finishing strongly to be an eye-catching third.
Mighty Conqueror, making his first appearance for nine weeks, was produced a splendid fettle by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, with the gelding impressing with his smart 1.54.2 rate.
Warwick said that Mighty Conqueror had been given an easy trial at Byford the previous Sunday when he won at a modest 2.0.7 rate. “But he certainly had the fitness to perform strongly in tonight’s race after winning trials in 1.54.9 and 1.56.6 before last Sunday’s trial,” he explained.
“Racing in the breeze was no concern. His ability has never been an issue and his racing patterns can be adaptable. Naturally, the big Cups in the summer will be his main aim.”
There is no doubt that Mighty Conqueror will be a leading candidate for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park’s summer carnival. He showed his class in winning the WA Pacing Cup in January 2020 and then finishing third behind Vultan Tin and Chicago Bull in the next WA Pacing Cup last December.
A winner at three of his four starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in April and May 2018, Mighty Conqueror has had 35 starts in Western Australia for 16 wins and nine placings. He has already amassed $595,161 from his 19 wins and nine placings from 39 starts.
Patronus Star, winner of the WA Derby in April of last year, also gives every indication of being a major player in the rich summer carnival feature events. He challenged Mighty Conqueror and got on terms with his stablemate with 300m to travel in Friday night’s event before going to the line locked together and failing by the barest possible margin.
by Ken Casellas