Gino Poletti achieved a lot of fame with classy grey galloper Luckygray but in a great finish to the 2013 Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) he showed he was not a one-trick trainer when $7 chance, Classique Ivory (Shaun O’Donnell) won in a driving finish.
Coming from near the rear O’Donnell’s timing was impeccable, giving his mount a clear run in the home straight and holding off Starlight Lady (Ryan Hill) who rattled home from last to get within a neck of the winner.
Imperial Command who had kicked clear on straightening held on for third but was beaten at the 100m mark.
Poletti, a former Kalgoorlie identity, has been asked many times to return to the Goldfields.
“I said I would come back when I had something good enough to win the Kalgoorlie Cup.”
During the week Poletti and O’Donnell decided to take the blinkers off Classique Ivory and it proved a master stroke.
“The last time I did this successfully in a feature race was when Beau Pirate won the 1991 Bunbury Cup,” the trainer said.
Poletti heaped praise on his jockey by saying it was a superb ride. O’Donnell said his charge travelled well throughout and “let down nicely when asked for an effort.”
Both the trainer and jockey can be well pleased with their efforts with this galloper who has now won six times from 17 career starts. However, all his previous victories were over 1200-1600m.
But his, owner Warren Simcoe, likes staying races and while Poletti was keen to accommodate he was not sure whether Classique Ivory was a genuine staying type, earlier this year.
After Classique Ivory won a 1500m race on January 19, when ridden by Lucas Camilleri, Poletti said the horse was ideally suited over such a journey “but I don’t think he is certain to be a stayer.”
“I have to teach him more patience to go beyond 1800m,” Poletti said at the time.
In his last three starts before the Kalgoorlie Cup the galloper has had two seconds and a third over the 2000-2200m distance.
A hard going type Poletti and O’Donnell have obviously been vindicated in their efforts in producing the galloper a winner of the iconic 2300m Goldfields race. O’Donnell has been aboard Classique Ivory in 14 of his races.
The $5 favourite, Fanicio (Troy Turner), in a very even betting race, finished fifth.
Savabeel sired gallopers have now won consecutive Kalgoorlie Cups as Lopov was successful last year.