West Australian-bred star David Hercules warmed up for the $48,000 interdominion championship qualifying heat at Gloucester Park next Saturday night in superb style with an effortless victory in the $21,000 Nine News Pace on Friday night.
Ace reinsman Morgan Woodley enthusiastically declared that the seven-year-old possessed all the qualities to run a mighty race in the $750,000 interdominion championship final at Menangle on March 2, provided he qualified for a start.
It was little more than am training run for David Hercules when he started at 25/1 on and was untroubled to set the pace from barrier three and coast to victory by nine lengths over Our Major Mark, rating 1.54.8 over the 2130m.
Woodley had a tight hold on David Hercules as he was timed at 29.8sec. and 29.3sec. over the first two 400m sections of the final mile before he sped over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 28sec.
“Short of falling out (of the sulky), that was the only thing I could’ve done tonight to stuff things up,” an admiring Woodley said. “He has done that like trackwork and it was pretty impressive to reel off that sort of time in second gear and under a hold. It’s really a positive sign, heading towards where we’re heading in the next couple of weeks.
“He is a tremendous horse, so tractable. His manners are fantastic and he allows me to do anything I like. I can go back off the gate, go forward, take him around to the breeze or sit him back in the run. He’s definitely a true professional and in the big races you need that.”
David Hercules, trained at Byford by David Thompson for owners David Botha and Jeneen Johnson, has amassed $781,304 from 28 wins and 29 placings from 83 starts.
By Ken Casellas