Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa welcomed a huge slice of luck and a surprise return to form for stable star Ultimate Art in theBathurst City Mayor’s Gold Cup on Saturday night.
Michael Formosa and Ultimate Art, centre, during the Bathurst City Mayor’s Gold Cup presentation. Picture: Bathurst Harness Racing Club
The eight-year-old stallion, second in the race last year,cruised toan eight-metre win in a track record1:54:5 mile rate for the 2260m.
A $35.40 chance off the second line, Ultimate Art was making his run three wide in the back straight when lead pair Franco Nelson ($1.10 favourite) and Sapphire Swayze locked wheels and fell back through the field.
Formosa took advantage, going for home early and stealing a winning gap on the field.It was Ultimate Art’s 36thwin on 98 starts and came after a second in the Armidale Cup and eighth in the Smooth Satin Cup at Bathurst this time in.
Formosa was happy to take the stroke of luck and believed Ultimate Art would have featured in the finish regardless.
“He still broke the track record and the last 100 metres he was just coasting to the line, so I definitely think he would have been up there anyway,” Formosa said.“It’s usually us locking wheels, not getting past and not getting afree run.”
Formosa was now looking optimistically to Menangle racing with “Thomas”, which has won$553,601 in stakes.
“He’s still a good horse,” he said. “Now that he’s a bit older he just takes a bit longer to hit his straps. Hopefully now he’s got that win under his belt, he’ll kick on a bit.
“He wasn’t really his chirpy self this week.He usually loves going away, but he wasn’t himself so he sort of surprised me how he went.”
Hunter-trained Black Silhouette (Sam Dimarco) and Ashark (Melanie Elder) where seventh and last in the group 2 Gold Bracelet and Chalice finals respectively.
At Maitland, Hunter trainers Cameron Davies (Halfway Holme and Stevie Dee) and Clayton Harmey (Yourblueyescrying and I’m Sugar Coated) had winning doubles on Saturday night.