Latest News

Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators

Few pacers in Western Australia stand up to such a rigorous program of racing as the New Zealand-bred five-year-old Vespa, who has raced 21 times in a 20-week period.

He thrives on this program of racing every week for Hopelands trainer Michael Young — and even puts on weight.

Vespa was a $2.80 favourite in the 2130m Australian Premium Feeds Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he trailed the pacemaker Machs Gold and was hopelessly hemmed in until the final stages before he flashed home to snatch a last-stride win by a nose from the frontrunner.

He was driven with great patience by Shannon Suvaljko, who finally was able to get into the clear 150m from the post when the breeze horse Baylan Jett began to wilt. This ended an unlucky losing sequence of twelve.

“He is a good sit-sprinter and is very fast,” said Young. “He loves to be saved up for one run.  But he is probably the unluckiest horse I’ve ever had because he rarely gets clear. But tonight was the night.

“I was thinking he wasn’t going to get out, and Shannon did well to get him into the clear. That’s the kind of run he needs. He is so unlucky; he has been in that spot so many times but has failed to get out. That is his second metro win for us, but he has banked almost $60,000.

“He is a little warrior, and I think that was about the 15TH Friday in a row that he has been here. Looking at him you would think that I had just pulled him out of the paddock because he’s that fat.

“He just jogs in training and doesn’t do any hoppled work. He is the easiest horse you could ever ask to train. He wears no gear and tries his heart out. He is just a perfect horse. I can’t get the weight off him, so we’ve got no say in the matter.

“You would think that a horse who has raced for four months straight would lose a bit of weight. And now I can’t see any reason why he won’t go around for another couple of months before he has a spell.”

For the record, Vespa has had 21 WA starts for four wins, eight placings and $56,960 in prizemoney for a career record of 52 starts for eight wins, 12 placings and $96,300.

Vespa is the first pacer sent by the Summit Bloodstock syndicate in Victoria and the Aaron Bain Racing syndicate in South Australia to be prepared in WA by Young. Those syndicates race Vespa in partnership with several small shareholders.