Major Reality. Photo by JMH Photography.
Quality five-year-old Major Reality leapt into serious calculations for the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier for the 2936m group 1 event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
But Major Reality will have to end a 45-year drought to win the big race if she is to become the first mare to win WA’s major pacing event since Les Marriott drove seven-year-old Pyramus to victory over Chief Attain and Sir Alex in the 1972 $20,000 WA Pacing Cup, rating 2.6.6 over the two miles. Among the unplaced runners were outstanding pacers Daintys Daughter, Red Vicar, Radiant Oro and Roscott.
Pyramus won the inaugural WA Oaks in 1968 and she remains the only pacer to have won the Oaks and WA Pacing Cup.
Pyramus is one of only five mares to have won a WA Pacing Cup in the past 70 years, the others being Winsome Bobbie (1946), Portree (1958), Color Glo (1967) and Daintys Daughter (1970).
Major Reality, purchased in New Zealand as a yearling for $31,000, won the 2015 WA Oaks from stablemate Quite A Delight and she now boasts a splendid record of 17 wins and eight placings from 29 starts for earnings of $331,736.
Trained and driven by Justin Prentice, Major Reality is a smart beginner and excellent frontrunner who has started from the No. 1 barrier at two of her past four starts for two wins --- when she led and beat The Parade and Hidden Bad in the 2130m Norms Daughter Classic on November 25 (with final quarters in 28sec. and 27.1sec.) and when she led for the first 700m and then sat behind Run Oneover before finishing powerfully to beat that pacer by a length in a 2536m Free-For-All on December 23.
Major Reality had no luck at all when she started at 15/1 from the outside of the back line in the Fremantle Cup last Friday night. She raced in seventh position in the one-wide line and was unwinding a strong burst when she locked wheels with John of Arc on the home turn and then was hampered for room in the straight, finishing tenth behind Chicago Bull.
John Wulff, who bought Major Reality as a yearling and races the mare in partnership with his father Ron and friends Ryan Hughes and Andrew Ditri, said he expected Prentice to be keen to set the pace.
If that is the case there is certain to be fireworks early, with Bettors Fire and Cyamach certain to begin speedily in attempts to take up the running.