Wildwest had tongues wagging at Central Southland Raceway today when he impressively won on debut by twelve and a half lengths.
“He’s always been a nice horse. We’ve always looked after him. He’s lost a bit of condition on the way through so we’ve put him aside then brought him back. He’s still a bit untapped,” says driver Brent Barclay.
The Raging Bull three year old is trained by Barclay’s partner Lauren Pearson at Winton and was sent out hot favourite on the back of some impressive workouts and trials form. With the weight of money on the horse Barclay had no option but to take the horse to the front once he was safely underway from the stand.
“I was a little bit worried at the start when he got a bit jumpy but he stepped real nice. He’s got a lot of speed and I would have liked to have seen him in behind today but in that type of field you have to drive him like the best horse.”
His time was 3-03.6. The track record for three year old colts and gelding is 3-01.3 which was recorded by Shorty’s Chance in 2009.
“It just felt like 3-10 not 3-03 but he’s very deceptive.”
At the finish – Photo Bruce Stewart
Back to the birdcage – Photo Bruce Stewart
Trainer Lauren Pearson, Wildwest, Kevin Strong and driver Brent Barclay – Photo Bruce Stewart
The three year old has been patiently handled and local trainer Ian Jamieson managed his first two preparations.
“He used to buck a bit early on but he’s been a real gentleman lately.”
Wildwest is owned by Kevin Strong who has bred and raced many horses over the years.
“He’s had so much bad luck so that’s why we’ve looked after him. It’s just great for Kev.”
Barclay says the horse has been attracting the attention of buyers prior to his debut today.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in him but we’ll discuss that with Kev.”
And as for his future racing programme?
“Probably Invercargill. He wouldn’t be going to Gore. I got suspended. There would have been plenty lining up to drive him there (laugh).”
Pearson trained Wildwest’s dam Bay Jet which was by Jereme’s Jet. Bay Jet ran third and first at workouts but never qualified. Wildwest is her first foal.
Wildwest in by the Christian Cullen stallion Raging Bull which won five of his ten starts for Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety.