Former Kiwi pacer shock WA Cup winner

By Adam Hamilton 

Shock Western Australian Pacing Cup winner Wildwest is heading to NSW to follow the path paved by his former stablemate King Of Swing.

And just like King Of Swing, he will join the powerhouse Team McCarthy stable this week with the Miracle Mile less than a month away.

Wildwest, a gifted but sometimes frustrating former Kiwi pacer, caused a massive boilover when driver Callan Suvaljko weaved through gaps late to snatch victory in last night’s $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup.  

Wildwestwon on debut for trainer Lauren Pearson at Winton before heading across the Tasman in 2019.  He's now 13 from just 26 starts with another four placings, with earnings at almost $470,000.

Incredibly, it was the 12th win in the race for champion WA trainer Gary Hall Sr.

Hall admitted he never looked at Wildwest in the run until the last stride.

“I was watching Bully (Chicago Bull) the whole way,” he told The Trots WA TV. “I thought Bully was home, but there was just too much pressure from Bond horses too far out. He was trying to hang on, he’s a great little horse. I’d love for him to have won it, he deserved to.

“Then I saw something flashing along the rail and thought, ‘hang on, I think that’s Wildwest’ and I couldn’t believe it.”

Wildwest, a son of Raging Bull, was a $91 shot and grabbed victory in the last-stride by a half-head over Miracle Moose, who looked home when young gun driver Emily Suvaljko swept him past Chicago Bull, who was only a head away in third spot.

“I know he (Wildwest) has got that ability, but when he’s on the rail. I thought he was history from the wide draw because he couldn’t find the rail,” Hall Sr said. “He doesn’t like this track all that much.”

And that’s why a plan was hatched a few weeks back for Wildwest to move to Belinda and Luke McCarthy’s stables so he can race regularly around the far more spacious 1400m Menangle circuit.

“I don’t really want to send him now, but I might as well,” Hall Sr said.

“Seriously though, I think he’ll be fantastic over there.”

It was Callan Suvaljko’s first WA Cup win and glorious drive.

“I’m speechless. The horse went super, he was always travelling, and copped a couple of checks when I didn’t switch back to the inside,” he said. “He found the line brilliantly and we’ve won the Pacing Cup, it’s beautiful.”

The Cup was a race of two halves, a dawdle early then a frantic scramble home with loads of jostling and interference in the last lap.

Star five-year-olds Magnificent Storm and Minstrel both ran good races for fourth and fifth respectively.

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