“Weight stops trains”, but it didn’t stop Perth Cup place-getter Kirov Boy ($4.40) who simply outstayed his rivals at Ascot today to salute in the Westspeed Stayers’ Bonus BM72+ 2400m.
Backing up from a solid Perth Cup third on New Year’s Day, the Arthur Mortimer trained son of Zenstov Street was sent forward by promising apprentice Emma Stent at the 1800m and led narrowly on the finally turn before outlasting a brave effort from Dragonlead ($4.00) to fall in by a half-head.
Race favourite Pants On Friar ($3.30 fav) ran on strongly from sixth on straightening to round out the minors – a further 1 ¾ lengths adrift.
When asked what riding instructions were given to Stent prerace, Mortimer said “Ride it like Danny (Miller) does…take off at the 1800m – get to the front by the 1600m – 800m to 1000m go quiet, then run home”.
The advice was well received by Stent who had to rate Kirov Boy to perfection lugging a massive 60.5kgs. Headed in the straight by Dragonlead, Stent went for the “persuader” and Kirov Boy responded to reclaim the lead when it mattered.
It was the sixth win for the 5yo gelding from 27 career starts and a fitting way to end what has been a long yet impressive preparation.