Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Mundijong horseman Michael Young celebrated his one hundredth winner as a trainer when Gary Hall Jnr drove Vespa to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m Barker Whittle Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Vespa, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old by Mach Three, was the $1.60 favourite and he gave his supporters very little cause for concern as he jumped straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier, and after a slow lead time of 38.2sec. and modest opening quarters of 31.4sec. and 30.8sec., he increased the tempo with final 400m sections of 29.2sec. and 28.3sec. to win by just under two lengths from the $5 second fancy Mattjestic Star, who trailed him all the way.
“I’ve been stuck on 99 for two weeks,” said Young whose previous seven starters had recorded five seconds, one third and one unplaced run.
“Vespa has really good gate speed and I thought that if he was able to lead, he’d be pretty much unbeatable.”
Vespa, a winner at four of his 31 New Zealand starts, has flourished under Young’s care and has earned $140,936 from nine wins and 16 placings from 51 starts in Western Australia.
Young, in his third season as a trainer, has established a splendid reputation and he boasts a wonderful strike rate, with his first 439 starters recording 100 wins and 130 placings.