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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

New Zealand-bred six-year-old Vespa is at his best when he leads, according to his trainer Michael Young.

And when Shannon Suvaljko sent Vespa to the front when the mobile barrier sent the field of twelve away in the 2536m Sunrise On 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, Young’s confidence spiralled.

Vespa, the second fancy at $2.70, did the rest, and after dashing over the final 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 28.3sec. he beat the better performed and $2.40 favourite Hampton Banner by just over a length, rating 1.57.7.

“It was always going to be hard for Vespa to beat Hampton Banner, who was dropping back out of a Pacing Cup,” said Young. “Hampton Banner had to be driven a bit out of his comfort zone, and it suited Vespa.

“Vespa has had 40-odd starts for us, and he has been able to lead only four times for three wins and a second. He is a great leader and a bit of a one-trick pony.”

Vespa, who ended a losing sequence of seven, won at four of his 31 starts in New Zealand, and his 36 WA starts have produced seven wins and 11 placings.

Hampton Banner started from the inside of the back line and Jocelyn Young quickly erased him off the pegs and into the one-wide line before going forward to race in the breeze. He battled on gamely but did not seriously threaten Vespa.