Minervini Racing enjoyed another winner within the space of a week, when lightly-raced Starcraft gelding Zolotoi took out the second-last race at Wednesday’s Balaklava meeting.
A horse that showed Mark ability from his first piece of work, it is patience that has been at the forefront of the trainer’s mind when managing the big gelding. Whilst today’s benchmark field may not have been littered with top-liners, winning, and then pulling up well are an important step in Zolotoi’s progression.
Having had the opportunity to grow into himself, it is now, as a five-year-old that Mark hopes Zolotoi will be able to string consecutive runs together in the same preparation, and finally deliver on the early promise he showed.
The margin from today’s win (a head), may not be all that inspiring on paper, but there are a few things of note that make the win all the more meritorious. Zolotoi balanced up well in the early stages, midfield, with cover. It was when Justin Potter on Warraside strung the field out, opening up a ten-length lead that Cahill had to make the choice as to when to go. No doubt knowing that he was on the best horse in the race, Shayne set out after the leader 600m from home, and carted the field up to the tearaway.
Travelling well within himself, Zolotoi cruised to the leaders straightening, but was quickly challenged, with those that had latched onto his tail down the side, now easing off his back to make their runs. One of those was Seek to Destroy who really tested the Starcraft gelding over the final 300m, but despite having done the bulk of the chasing work, Zolotoi was able to stick his neck out on the line, and really tough out a good win.
Wednesday’s win was Zolotoi’s third from 14 starts, and now that the big gelding has himself right, the stable and ownership group can look forward to many more wins.
Congratulations to the owners Peter & Sue Blaschek, Ian & Cheryl Dally, Dr PC Goel, Robin Gosden, Jeff, Tracey and Josh Halsall, Will Hards, Conan Hookings, Steve & Cathy Horn, Peter & Suzanne Horsnell, Katherine & David Hossen, Kirsty Marnane, Anthony Mezzini, Liz & Pat Noone, Everyone Reckons (Mgr: Greg Platt), Paul Ramsay, John & Margaret Ray, Clinton Tanner, Patricia Trussell, Stephen West, Kegasus Lives (Mgr: Michael Wood)
A replay of the last half of the race can be viewed at https://twitter.com/Racing/status/912933692586078208
A replay of Mark’s post-race interview can be viewed at https://twitter.com/Racing/status/912934940458737664