Pinjarra trainer Brett Pope makes no attempt to hide his enthusiam for emerging three-year-old Virtual Trader.
“He’s an impressive type,” said Pope. “From the first day we gave him a run along we thought he was something special.”
Virtual Trader, a Bunbury debut winner in an initial two-run preparation, resumed with a second to Antique Belle in the Westspeed 3Y0 Handicap (1200m) in the Belmont Park mid-week meeting on October 3. He set the pace from the outside draw under 58.5kg and was beaten a neck.
He then led from an inside draw with the 3kg claim of Pope’s apprentice, Chanelle O’Grady, to win the Westspeed 3Y0 Handicap (1200m) by 1 1/4-lengths yesterday. (Wednesday October 10)
“He boxed on really well first-up,” said Pope. “Then toughened up with the run.
“He did so well that he tried to drop me on Monday. I knew he had to go around again.”
Pope was also lavish in his praise for O’Grady, who leads the rising stars apprentice series.
“This was her first city winner but she’s had another seven during the past fortnight,” he said. “She works hard, goes over the replays and does her form.
“When you work hard you get results.”
O’Grady said she had “a lot of horse left under me.”
“I thought I had it won,” she said. “But I tried to force it out of my mind.”
Virtual Trader continues the great winning run for Alwyn Park Stud-based Trade Fair. He is from Virtual, by Encosta de Lago, and was bred by Mrs Nerida Barnden-Brown.
Virtual’s dam, Lady In Reality, by Fair Sir, won the Listed VATC Bounding Away Handicap.
.Trade Fair’s Trading Day was a 1 1/2-length third to Virtual Trader as the $31 outsider in his race debut.