Material Man impresses, firms as Cup favourite
Myalup-based gelding Material Man has firmed as one of the favourites for this year’s XXXX Gold Bunbury Cup having won the $100,000 Prince of Wales Hotel Cup (2019m) at the Bunbury Turf Club on Sunday.
The Justin Warwick-trained five-year-old did not have the race his own way, failing to find cover and being forced to head wide to claim an eighth career victory from 12 starts.
But just 10 days out from Bunbury’s biggest racing prize, jockey Chris Parnham and Material Man sent an ominous warning to their competition, finding enough on the straight to win from My Magic Miss and Dark Alert.
Warwick said winning a big race in his hometown was good and they would now prepare to claim the Bunbury Cup.
“He will go up a couple of kilograms, but hopefully with a good run he doesn’t have to do that much work,” he said.
Warwick said Material Man was still holding his own in the grades, despite making tough work of it on Sunday.
“The horse was good enough to get us out of trouble,” he said.
Warwick said he was never confident coming into races this big.
Material Man has won on his past two starts and is three races into this campaign.
Warwick told the crowd at the Bunbury Turf Club that Material Man would aim for the Group One $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in November.
The last time Warwick won the prestigious race was in 2012, when Rosie Rocket claimed victory, before going on to place fourth in the Bunbury Cup and third later that year in the Railway Stakes.
Meanwhile, William Pike has extended his lead in the Bunbury Turf Club’s Jockey Premiership, saluting the judges twice on Sunday. Pike rode the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Proconi to a dominant win in the $15,000 Prince of Wales Bistro/Restaurant Maiden (1108m), before taking Cool Image to a win $17,500 Chicken Parmigiana Handicap (1108m) after coming from seventh on the turn to win by half a length.
The champion jockey now has 19 points in the premiership, seven ahead of the second-placed Shaun McGruddy.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails