It’s the one race that still rankles trainer Brock Lewthwaite: Image Keeper finishing eighth on debut at Mount Barker last November.
Lewthwaite’s plans for a winning start was abruptly stopped in its tracks when the son of Scandal Keeper copped interference inside the last 100m.
However; since that inauspicious beginning it’s been all smooth sailing for Image Keeper, who has struck back with a winning hat trick this year.
Following wins at Bunbury, Pinjarra and Ascot, the son of Scandal Keeper is the $3.70 Tabtouch favourite to take out Saturday’s Westspeed Platinum Autumn Final (1200m).
Lewthwaite says Image Keeper can match market ratings and continue his winning ways on the weekend, but he still rues the race that got away in the Great Southern.
“If you take away that run, he’d have an unblemished record,” Lewthwaite told The Races WA.
“He has won three of his four races and two trials as well.
“That’s been the only loss he has suffered.
“He’s always shown ability, but we have to wear the loss.
“He’s a big, green and raw horse and the small track didn’t suit.”
A $60,000 Perth Magic Millions yearling, Image Keeper can secure his biggest pay day in the $100,000 Westspeed Platinum Autumn Final.
Against 14 other starters in the race, Lewthwaite believes on current form the four-year-old should end his campaign on a winning note.
“He is going into the race fit, well and in form,” Lewthwaite said.
“I’m sure he will be competitive if he turns up as in previous races.
“This is the race that has been his target, his grand final.
“He hasn’t trained off or is off his game.
“He’s had it pretty easy this time in and it looks the right option.
“I’m already looking forward to when he comes back next campaign.
“If we look after him and he comes back better, we could be having some fun.”
Image Keeper will jump from barrier seven for new rider Brad Rawiller.
“Mitchell Pateman is suspended and Willie Pike is in Adelaide,” Lewthwaite said.
“Brad’s reputation speaks for itself.”
Aside from bragging rights and the prize purse, Image Keeper can deliver Lewthwaite with a personal milestone.
“I have never trained a horse to win four races in a row,” Lewthwaite said.
“I’ve had two horses win three straight, but never four in a row.
“That would be nice.”