Saturday, 2 June 2012
Reuben Percival emerged as a Brisbane Cup contender with a hard-fought feature race success at Warwick Farm to extend trainer Gai Waterhouse's winning sequence in Sydney.
Reuben Percival ($3.10 fav) rallied in the straight to deny Group One winner The Verminator
($8.50) by a half-head in Saturday's Listed Winter Cup (2400m) with Crafty Irna ($9.50) a long head away third.
The victory on a deteriorating slow track maintained a winning run for the Waterhouse stable with the trainer preparing at least one winner at the past 17 Saturday meetings in Sydney.
"He's such a lovely horse," Waterhouse said.
"At the 100-metre mark he was going to run third. With 75 metres to run he was going to run second. And on the post he just said, 'I'm the winner'. He's just so tenacious."
Reuben Percival will take aim at the Group Two Brisbane Cup (2400m) next Saturday.
Waterhouse, who won the Brisbane Cup with Tullamore last year, was setting Western Symbol for the race this year but sent him to the paddock after his last-start fourth in the McKell Cup.
The Chris Waller-trained The Verminator
, who was gallant in defeat under the big weight of 59.5kg, could also be Brisbane-bound.
"Chris will make a decision on Monday whether he goes up for the Brisbane Cup," Waller's racing manager Liam Prior said.
Reuben Percival sat outside the leader Once Were Wild in transit but was overtaken rounding the home turn as Crafty Irna made her move and The Verminator
got up along the inside.
Brad Rawiller went for home on The Verminator
and looked the winner, but Reuben Percival's jockey Peter Robl never lost confidence that he could peg him back.
"I always felt he was going to win, but he was going to take the length of the straight to do it," Robl said.
"It's probably the first time in his career that he hasn't been the one that has got a break and skipped away. He had to do the chasing today and it was something different for him but he did it well.
"He'll probably win a nice race for them."
Rawiller said The Verminator
's big weight just told at the finish.
"His run was terrific, giving the winner five and a half kilos," Rawiller said.
"He certainly looked home but he just peaked on his run."
Group One winner Murjulisa Lass was retired from the race midrace and was later found to have suffered cardiac arrhythmia.