Modello made light work of his opposition when he scored a runaway win in the $100,000 Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont yesterday.
The Lindsey Smith-trained six-year-old, ridden by Shaun Meeres, stormed to the front in the early stages and from that point he was never headed.
Posting the biggest win of his career, Modello kicked clear to defeat Fuchsia Bandana by 1 ¼ lengths. Ron’s Call was two lengths behind in third place.
It was Modello’s second start this campaign after he ran a long-neck fourth to Jack ‘N’ Sam over 1000m at Belmont on September 20.
Smith said carrying the minimum, a 4.5kg drop on his previous start, was a critical factor in Modello’s milestone victory.
“It’s a race that suited him and sometimes the plan works out,” said Smith.
“But I think it was all about the weight he had to carry.
“I always wanted the lead and I thought he got it a lot softer than I anticipated.
“This horse has had issues all his life and he doesn’t owe me anything.
“I will savour the moment but I will have to work out where we go next because he is not top shelf.”
Fuchsia Bandana, who started favourite, trailed Modello throughout and chased hard over the concluding stages.
The Trade Fair mare should strip fitter at her first-up run since May.
Also putting in a solid first-up run was Ron’s Call who made ground from seventh position.
Mendicity was tardy out of the gates but was never a serious threat of running down Modello and ran fourth.
Former New South Wales galloper Under The Sun made an inauspicious debut for Albany trainer, Gary Delane.
The six-year-old gelding raced forward but compounded in the straight to finish second-last.
He placed ahead of reigning WA Horse of the Year, Ihtsahymn, who trailed the field by 15 ½ lengths.
It was an uncharacteristic performance from the son of Ihtiram but a post race veterinary examination may have shed some light.
It revealed the Fred Kersley-trained gelding to have returned with cardiac arrhythmia.