Kirov Boy has come a long way since Arthur Mortimer considered off loading and selling the Zentsov Street gelding. The tough and uncompromising five-year-old has reignited his career and looms as a major chance to take out the XXXX Gold Bunbury Cup on Thursday. RWWA’s Julio Santarelli caught up with the owner-trainer in the lead up to the $120,000 Listed feature.

JS: Kirov Boy hasn’t done too badly for a horse that displayed limited ability early in his career?

AM: He was hopeless and had absolutely no idea of what it was all about. I honestly can’t pinpoint what has been the turnaround apart from maturity.

JS: That assessment is pretty hard to take in when you consider his current form.

AM: I would take him to the track with Senor Hurrcan, who was no world beater, and he was 20 lengths behind! I’m not overstating it when I say he was hopeless!

JS: Your perseverance has paid off with the gelding earning over $200, 000 in stake earnings.

AM: I was desperate to sell him but nobody was prepared to take him on. I think his sire Zentsov Street, who hadn’t done much, turned a few people off.

JS: He is a horse who refuses to give in and doesn’t know how to buckle when the fight goes on.

AM: He is a nice honest horse who is no champion but has a never say die attitude. A lot of people give up on him in running but he always digs in and fights back.

JS: The Perth Cup when third behind Real Love was a case in point.

AM: He came up against a smart horse and did well to tough it out.

JS: After he demolished the field by eight lengths in the ATA Handicap you must have gone into the Perth Cup with a degree of confidence?

AM: I said to Danny (Miller) to go hard as you can because if we don’t win the Perth Cup is out of the question.

JS: Kirov Boy has built up a good association with Danny and it would have been a popular victory.

AM: I reckon they would have brought the grandstand down! The way he races he is pretty popular with punters.

JS: It’s probably one of the final chances Danny will have in winning a Perth Cup?

AM: He has won almost every other major race and he was pretty desperate to win it. Danny was pretty disappointed.

JS: How much work do you pour into Kirov Boy?

AM: I adopt a different fitness regime where I work my horses out of a 50 metre yard. A lot of people say you can’t do that but I get them fit.

JS: Kirov Boy is heading towards the Bunbury Cup and after a short let up ran unplaced behind Tick Tick Bloom in the AHA Cup.

AM: He probably went a little early against a good speed and needed the run after a few weeks off. Tick Tick Bloom was a very good run.

JS: He has been up for a fair while; what plans beyond Bunbury?

AM: If he doesn’t bomb out the Pinjarra Cup and then the West Australian Cup at Ascot in April. I would love to see him over two miles.