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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

A fighting victory by Perfect Major at Gloucester Park on Friday night proved a perfect panacea for star trainer Ross Olivieri’s woes as he recuperated at home after surgery earlier in the week to mend his troublesome right shoulder.

Olivieri, an eight-time West Australian premiership trainer and a former outstanding tennis player, was confined to barracks but was still able to serve an ace, with Chris Voak driving with commendable aggression to land $4 chance Perfect Major an impressive winner over Son Of A Tiger ($8) and the $1.80 favourite Vampiro in the $25,000 Specialised Equipment Funding Solutions Free-For-All.

Olivieri spent the first couple of days last week in hospital where he underwent a right shoulder reconstruction, known as a reverse shoulder replacement, and he is now recuperating at home.

His wife Jemma Hayman filled in admirably for him, taking four pacers to Gloucester Park for a win with Perfect Major, a second with Born To Boogie, and third placings with Boom Time and Carrera Mach.

Perfect Major, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, began speedily from the No. 2 barrier, but Voak was forced to surrender the lead 300m after the start to the rampaging Vampiro, who had begun with a typical great burst of speed.

After an opening quarter of 27.8sec. in the 1730m event, Vampiro was able to get a breather with a second 400m section of 29.8sec. When Voak saw Ideal Liner surging forward with 950m to travel he eased Perfect Major off the pegs and into the breeze.

Perfect Major appeared to be facing a very tough task when Vampiro led clearly 400m from home. But Perfect Major responded grandly to Voak’s urgings, and the gelding hit the front 110m from the post and went on to win by a half-length from Son Of A Tiger, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. The final quarters were covered in 27.9sec. and 28.sec. and the winner rated 1.53.4.

“The plan was to lead, but Perfect Major didn’t muster (as fast as expected),” Voak explained. “With 450m to go Vampiro was on the left rein and was running up the track from the 700m, and at the 350m Perfect Major rallied and found another gear.

“I don’t think he’s at his best. But I think we’re on the right track and he’s capable of performing well at the summer carnival.”

Friday night’s victory ended a losing run of nine for Perfect Major, who now has raced 49 times for 17 wins, 14 placings and $228,044 in prizemoney. A winner of six races in Victoria and one each in Tasmania and South Australia, Perfect Major has had 23 starts in Western Australia for nine wins and five placings.

Last summer Perfect Major won the group 2 RWWA Cup when he beat Chicago Bull by a half-head before finishing fifth behind Vultan Tin in the WA Pacing Cup the following week.    

“I think it is safe to say that he has exceeded expectations here,” declared Voak.