Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Brilliant New Zealand-bred five-year-old Minstrel simply enjoyed a stroll in the park on his way to scoring an effortless victory in the $50,000 group 2 Etch Coatings Lord Mayor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The $1.20 favourite from the No. 2 barrier gave star reinsman Ryan Warwick an armchair drive as he strolled to a four metre victory over $21 chance Roman Art, rating 1.58.2 over the 2536m after dashing over the final 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 27.1sec.
“I was waiting for a curve ball to come, but it never did,” said Warwick. “I didn’t see any horse who could sit outside him and beat him. After the lead time, I would have been disappointed if he had been beaten.
“I’m not sure what is planned for him. There’s the $50,000 Governor’s Cup next Friday night, and I know that the Pinjarra Cup (March 7) and Narrogin Cup (April 9) are coming up.”
Diego ($19) who started from the outside of the back line, moved to the breeze after a lap and was third and tiring when he met with interference and broke into a gallop 100m from the finish. It was left to Roman Art, who trailed the leader all the way, to battle on into second place, with $91 outsider Golden State, tenth at the bell, impressing in flashing home along the inside to be third.
Minstrel, winner of the Fremantle Cup three weeks before Friday night’s event, has been lightly raced and now boasts a splendid record of 31 starts for 16 wins, ten placings and $536,523 in prizemoney. He has won at 12 of his 20 starts in Western Australia for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond.
Meanwhile, his eight-year-old stablemate Vampiro will be out of action for several months, He damaged a suspensory ligament when he met with interference 250m from home in the Fremantle Cup. Further scans on Vampiro’s injured leg will be taken on Monday.
Another top-flight Bond pacer Patronus Star (a fast-finishing second in the Fremantle Cup) again caught the eye with his fifth in Friday night’s Cup when he surged home powerfully, out five wide.