By his own high standards Trevor Andrews experienced a lean summer carnival, but his autumn campaign looks highly promising following the win of Gangbuster in the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday
Gangbuster took his first major step towards the WA Derby (2400m) in April when he stormed home from sixth position at the turn to post an impressive 3/4 length victory over Western Temple with Final Salute finishing third, giving co-trainers Grant and Alana Williams the minor placings.
Gangbuster, a son of Blackfriars who cost $90,000 as a yearling at the 2015 Perth Magic Millions Sale, was on the quick turnaround after he ran a slashing third to Precious Memories in last week’s Listed Challenge Stakes (1500m).
Andrews, who won the race for a third time after he prepared Heroicity (1991) and Veracious (2011) when it was called the T.J.Smith Trophy, said Gangbuster would improve as he stepped up in distances.
“He is a horse who is looking for the ground being a Blackfriars,” Andrews said.
“You never know if they are going to get ground, but he certainly got the mile better than any of the others.
“On a day when they were leaders’ bias he still sort of attacked the line very well, so you got be to be happy with that I think.
“He is a Blackfriars and most of them stay pretty well. We have always had a good opinion of him so onwards and upwards hopefully.
“I wouldn’t be swapping him for any of the others.”
Meanwhile in the Listed Detonator Stakes (1800m) Pounamu continued his blistering form with an easy win, his fourth straight this campaign.
The five-year-old Alan Mathews-trained gelding, once considered a ‘bridesmaid, landed his first stakes victory in 30 career starts.
“The horse is doing a great job and this is a great race to win,” Mathews said.
“We will have a look at the AHA Cup (2000m) in Bunbury, I really wouldn’t like to stretch him out any further than that, or he might go to the paddock.”
Earlier Riasc staked his claims for the Karrakatta Plate ( 1100m) with a gutsy win in the Penang Turf Club Trophy (1100m).
The Rogano gelding was forced to do it the tough way after racing wide throughout, but his courage and class shone through when he edged out Al Di La in a thrilling finish.
But the win came at a cost for jockey, Chris Parnham, who copped a 12-day suspension from stewards for causing interference.