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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

A sizzling lead time of 34.4sec. proved to be the perfect scenario for noted sit-sprinter Vespa in the 2130m Australian Pacing Gold Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Vespa, a $5 chance from out wide at barrier No. 8, settled down in last position in the field of nine, 12 lengths behind Regal Cheval, Vivere Damore and Tyler Brett, who mustered tremendous pace in a fierce battle for the lead.

Dylan Egerton-Green eventually got the upper hand, with Tyler Brett, the $2.80 favourite, getting to the front from $3 chance Regal Cheval 500m after the start.

Emily Suvaljko started a three-wide move with Vespa 950m from home before Robbie Williams sent $26 chance Triroyale Brigade forward, three wide, a few moments later, thus giving Vespa cover.

Suvaljko switched Vespa four wide at the 400m, and 150m later the breeze horse Bettorstartdreaming ($23) got to a narrow lead. Vespa hit the front at the 100m mark and went on to win by a half-length from the fast-finishing $26 chance McArdles Gem. The winner rated a slick 1.56.8.

Vespa, who certainly appreciated a considerable drop in class after finishing a good fourth at $61 behind the brilliant Magnificent Storm in the group 2 James Brennan Memorial Pace the previous Saturday night, has been a splendid performer for Hopelands trainer Michael Young. His 26 starts in Western Australia for Young have produced six wins and eight placings after racing 33 times in New Zealand for four wins.

“I drove him a bit more positively tonight; it was a huge drop down in class,” said Suvaljko. “I was sitting last in the moving line when I heard Richie (course commentator Richard Bell) say that it was the fastest lead time ever at Gloucester Park, so I pulled three wide straight away.”

Young said that the lead time equalled something like a 26sec. quarter, and that he had no concerns that Vespa was so far back after such a fast pace in the early stages. “That’s what he needs; he’s that type of horse,” said Young. “He relies on a lot of luck, and when that happens, he is super.

“He was in the Free For All last week, and we used the system to drop back. He might be headed for America after another win.”

Vespa, who has earned $121,469 from ten wins and 12 placings from 59 starts, is a half-brother to Artzone, who had 165 starts for 26 wins and 49 placings for stakes of $172,979.