Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
A flying start from the outside barrier paved the way for Vampiro’s impressive victory in the $25,000 August Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and the hardy veteran again appeals as a major player in the rich Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in the summer.
Vampiro, favourite at $2.50, gave his rivals little chance when he began brilliantly from the No. 9 barrier, burst to the front after 220m and then set a fast pace on his way to winning by 2m from stablemate Patronus Star ($5), who ran home determinedly from eighth at the 500m.
Outstanding young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green gave Vampiro’s rivals little chance when the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old sped over the final three quarters in 28.8sec., 27.9sec. and 28.9sec.
“It looked like we had the speed to cross,” said Egerton-Green. “There were a few inside of us who said they would like to run the gate, but they were horses having their first runs in fast class. And there’s a bit of difference in gate speed there.
“From the outside barrier Vampiro knows how to get across. He was full of running well and truly into the (first) corner, and he got across and became hard to beat.”
Egerton-Green said that he was more than happy to open up a commanding break on Vampiro’s rivals in the back straight in the final circuit. “The better ones were at the back of the field and so I decided to give them something to chase,” he explained. “He doesn’t look like he is doing it easy, but that’s not the case. He usually waits for them a bit.”
Vampiro, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and raced by Mrs Bond and Rob Gartrell, has been a superb performer throughout his career of 75 starts for 28 wins, 24 placings and stakes of $630,249. This was his second victory in the August Cup, following his success two years ago when Ryan Warwick drove him in the breeze on the way to getting up and defeating the pacemaker Our Corelli by a half-head.
Four-year-old Al Guerrero, a $21 chance from the No. 1 barrier, did a good job to finish third after trailing the leader throughout in Friday night’s Cup.