Boom five-year-old Material Man continued his rapid rise to stardom with a comprehensive victory in yesterday’s listed $120,000 XXXX Gold-Bunbury Cup (Race 8-2200m) at Bunbury.
Only 11 days after taking out the Bunbury Turf Club’s listed $100,000 Prince Of Wales Hotel Cup (2019m), the Justin Warwick-trained son of Vital Equine captured the South West region’s biggest trophy despite having to overcome difficulties in the early stages.
After beginning from barrier nine, jockey Chris Parnham was looking to slot into the two-wide line worse than midfield, however, his fellow riders ensured he was racing three-wide without cover as they passed the winning post for the first time.
Going out of the straight Parnham made a snap decision to roll forward, improving from eighth to be in front passing the 1400-metre mark, aided by a particularly slow pace being set by Bedamijo ($41) and Eleven Seconds ($12).
Once he found the front, without overly exerting himself, Parnham was able to dictate terms and when he asked Material Man ($2.70 favourite) to up the ante from the 600 metres it was always going to be hard for the others to make an impact.
Rounding the home turn in front, Material Man was asked for the supreme effort and responded like good horses do, skipping clear 200 metres from home and holding his rivals at bay to score an emphatic 2-1/4 lengths victory from Zarantz ($10) and Eleven Seconds.
The win capped an amazing couple of days for the Warwick stable having saddled up brilliant filly Quilista to win the listed $100,000 Rangeview Stud Classic (Race 7-1400m) on Bunbury Stakes Day (Sun 19 Mar).
Material Man is now a winner at nine of his 13 starts is one of the most impressive thoroughbreds in training in Western Australia, and looks poised to give some of the State’s biggest races a shake later this year.
In the meantime, however, he could become the first horse since Lords Ransom in 2012 to win the Bunbury Cup/Pinjarra Cup double, with the upcoming $120,000 Pinjarra Cup (2300m) set to be held on Sunday April 9.