A Warwick Affair

1
Jan

Justin dramatic conclusion to the 2400m feature at Ascot on Monday.

Material Man, trained by Justin Warwick and perfectly ridden by his daughter Lucy, exacted revenge after running consecutive seconds to Pounamu in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m).

Material Man, who met Pounamu 2.5kg better from their last encounter, hit the front at the top of the straight after pacesetter Trap For Fools, chasing his seventh win on the trot, faded from contention.

Material Man kicked clear passing the 200m and appeared to have victory in his sights, but Pounamu, looking to end his fairy-tale campaign on a stunning high, was winding up with a powerful finish.

In one of the most exciting conclusions ever seen in a Perth Cup, Material Man staved off Pounamu’s brave challenge by the barest of margins, grimly holding on by a nose.  Royal Star ran third.

Material Man, a winner of the Bunbury Cup (2200m) in March and the Northam Cup (1600m) in September, gave Justin Warwick his second Perth Cup triumph.

The top horseman, who transferred to thoroughbred training after a distinguished career in harness racing as a trainer-driver, prepared Black Tycoon in 2014.

Lucy Warwick enters Perth Cup history as the second female rider to win the iconic race, joining Kyra Yuill, who partnered Western Jewel (2011).

The Warwick’s become the first father and daughter partnership to win the Perth Cup.

“He is the best horse I have had,” Justin Warwick said.

“It’s great to have him the whole way through.

“He has got a good horses record, has won over a million bucks, anyone can hop on him, any distance is great, he never runs a bad race.

“It’s a family affair, we cross our wires occasionally, but we are all good at what we do.”

Lucy Warwick, who overcame food poisoning last Saturday, burst onto the scene several years ago and in 2014-15 was crowned Leading Apprentice.

But the 20-year-old struggled when making the transition from apprentice to senior rider and spent extended time away from the saddle after battling motivation and weight issues.

Despite giving Material Man an ideal run on the back of the leader, she said she was a bundle of nerves pre-race.

“I’m just relieved it’s over,” Warwick said.

“I felt like spewing up behind the gates I was so nervous.

“He is a brilliant horse and it was probably the first time I rode him the way he needed to be ridden.

“Pounamu is a brilliant horse and we got there in time.”

Julio Santarelli