Major Martini favoured to taste WA derby glory

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Gary Hall Jun, pictured here guiding Justin Prentice’s ace Major Martini to victory at Gloucester Park on March 20, is favoured to win on Friday night.
Camera IconGary Hall Jun, pictured here guiding Justin Prentice’s ace Major Martini to victory at Gloucester Park on March 20, is favoured to win on Friday night. Credit: Hamilton Media Creators

Justin Prentice’s ace Major Martini is a warm favourite to claim Friday night’s $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby 3YO Pace (2536m) at Gloucester Park, despite having drawn barrier 11.

But if the pacey three-year-old is to salute, he will have to quell the might of filly Double Expresso, who has won 11 of her 14 career starts, while placing in the remaining three.

Throw in Major Martini’s in-form stablemate Gardy’s Legacy and Kiwi flyer Patronus Star, it is pretty clear as to why many experts believe this could be the race of the year at pacing headquarters.

What stands out about Major Martini instantly is his consistency and composure.

Prentice took the reins during his last run, which was a comprehensive victory by 10.7m over Gardy’s Legacy on March 20.

However up until the final 400m, the three-year-old was given no favours, as Howard Hughes, driven by Ryan Warwick left nothing in the tank as he pushed for the lead on the outside.

A quick glance from Prentice then resulted in him finding an extra gear and the lengthier 2536m distance did not appear to faze him when pulling up post-race.

The big question about Double Expresso will be if she can handle the longer trip, given it will be her first start or trial above 2185m.

It will also be a big evening for fellow South West reinsman Aiden De Campo (Capel) and Dylan Egerton-Green (Harvey) who will pilot Gardy’s Legacy and Patronus Star respectively.

Earlier in the evening, those who love watching genuine speed will be spoilt for choice, as Busselton-based stalwart Talktomeurmattjesty is one of several contenders for the $25,000 Sky Racing Active Pace (2130m).

Tomorrow night’s Wagin Trotting Club meeting has been relocated to Donaldson Park, with an eight race program on offer.

It will be a busy night for Bunbury reinsmen Kaiden Hayter and Bailey McDonough, who have several drives ahead of them. Hayter will guide pre-race favourite Tenacious George in the We Tow 24/7 Pace (1609m).

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