Trainer Justin Warwick felt a sense of relief after Material Man drew a perfect barrier in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m), getting gate two for Saturday’s $1 million purse at Ascot.
The Myalup-based horseman believes a favourable draw gives Material Man a wonderful opportunity of going one better after he ran a half-length second to Pounamu in last year’s Kingston Town Classic.
“It’s just vital when you go into these races,” Warwick said.
“When you have a horse that jumps and makes his own luck you want to be in that first six or seven.
“It’s important that you don’t have to do too much work early.
“It makes the few days leading into the race very pleasant.”
Warwick lauded Material Man’s third placing in the Railway Stakes (1600m) two weeks back, the gelding’s return run after an interrupted campaign.
Sitting on top of a frenetic speed in the famous Ascot mile, Material Man shot to the front inside the final 200m and faded late, beaten 1 ¾ lengths.
A co-winner of WA Race Horse of the Year honours, Material Man had not raced since his Strickland Stakes (2000m) victory early in June.
“It was a tough run first-up,” Warwick said.
“It was like world record speed the first 1200m.
“He pulled surprisingly well and is a tough little fella.
“He has done well since and will be as good as he is for Saturday.”
Material Man, who holds three wins from four second-up attempts, will be ridden by Warwick’s daughter, Lucy.
The son of Vital Equine is $7.50 with Tabtouch.