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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Consistent three-year-old colt Star Of Willoughby unwound a remarkable late burst of speed to come from a seemingly impossible position to score an easy victory over the highly-regarded Gary Hall senior-trained youngsters Jumpingjackmac ($1.55 favourite) and Finvarra ($3) in the 2130m Westral Roller Shutters Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Star Of Willoughby, bred and owned by Bob Fowler’s Allwood Stud Farm, is prepared by young Banjup trainer Josh Dunn, and was driven with supreme confidence by Emily Suvaljko. Despite his consistency and an eye-catching fast-finishing third behind Finvarra and Jumpingjackmac a fortnight earlier, Star Of Willoughby was a $29.80 tote outsider.

Star Of Willoughby started from barrier three in the field of seven and Suvaljko was content to keep him at the rear while Blitzembye ($9) set the pace.

After $101 outsider Chance Eclipse set a fast pace with a lead time of 36.3sec., Mark Reed sent Blitzembye to the front after 500m. The opening quarter of the final mile was run at a leisurely 31.8sec. before Reed increased the tempo and Blitzembye dashed over the following 400m sections in 29.3sec. and 27sec.

Jumpingjackmac settled in last position before Gary Hall jnr sent him forward, three wide, to move to the breeze at the bell. Jumpingjackmac eventually got a neck in front of Blitzembye at the 500m.

Star Of Willoughby was last with 300m to travel, about eight lengths behind Jumpingjackmac, before Suvaljko switched him four wide on the home turn. The colt accelerated quickly, and he burst to the front in the final 25m to win by a length and a half from Jumpingjackmac, who recorded his fourth consecutive second placing.

Star Of Willoughby is a seasoned campaigner who now has raced 45 times for eight wins, 18 placings and $65,380 in stakes. By Follow The Stars, he is out of Lady Willoughby, who amassed $167,293 from 16 wins and 14 placings from 53 starts.

Lady Willoughby’s dam Amongst Royalty was an outstanding performer who raced 86 times for 23 wins, 27 placings and stakes of $570,820. Her wins as a two-year-old in 2006 included the $70,000 Sales Classic at Gloucester Park, the $60,000 God Tiara at Bathurst and the $300,000 APG final at Ballarat.