Material Man confirmed his status as one of WA racing’s most exciting thoroughbreds with a commanding victory when in yesterday’s listed $100,000 Prince Of Wales Hotel Cup (Race 7-2019m) at Bunbury’s opening meeting of the 2017 South West Autumn Racing Carnival.
Trainer Justin Warwick’s untapped five-year-old appeared unsuited racing outside the leader (Rosmartini) on top of a very slow tempo in the early and middle stages, fighting jockey Chris Parnham on occasions, however, when the sprint went on 600 metres from home he was in the perfect position to capitalise, dashing home in 33.74 seconds and making it nigh-on impossible for any of his opponents to run him down.
The super-quick closing sectional time reflected the sit-and-sprint nature of the race, but it didn’t detract from the $1.70 favourite’s performance in posting his first black-type victory and taking his overall record to an impressive eight wins from only 12 starts.
Local stayer My Magic Miss almost caused a major upset, with the $101 pop looming large and running Material Man to a half-length at the finish, in what was easily a career-best performance. Ross Price has endured an interrupted preparation with his five-year-old mare but almost managed pulled off one of the great training performances. Talented stayer Dark Alert caught the eye when running on into third at his first start since the Perth Cup, with Tonto fourth and second-favourite Falcon Crest perhaps a little disappointing in finishing fifth. He may have not been entirely suited to the way the race was run, however.
Material Man, who won Sunday’s Prince Of Wales Hotel Cup at only his third run this preparation, is clearly the horse to beat and likely short-priced favourite in the listed $120,000 Bunbury Cup (2200m) on Thursday March 23.
The emerging talent may even be capable of completing a clean-sweep of the autumn cups treble in the listed $120,000 Pinjarra Cup (2300m) on Sunday April 9.