Mighty Ronaldo after his win in the Fremantle Cup just two weeks ago Photo by Hamilton Content Creators
Trainer Justin Prentice is hoping for some divine intervention to help Mighty Ronaldo get the openings at the right time in tomorrow night’s TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup (2936m) at Gloucester Park.
The late John Lohman will be in Prentice’s thoughts when the field scores up for the $450,000 feature.
Lohman, who passed away late in 2020, was instrumental in Prentice and a group of his loyal owners stumping up the $22,000 to purchase Mighty Ronaldo at the 2019 APG Sales.
As well as being a prolific owner of Prentice’s, Lohman was also a key mentor to Prentice and was alongside him when he trained his first Pacing Cup winner Rocknroll Lincoln in 2019.
Prentice said Mighty Ronaldo would be racing with the spirit of Lohman tomorrow night.
“We used the money from Major Martini’s Sales Classic win to buy Mighty Ronaldo and it was his work to get enough people to agree to buy him,” Prentice told The Trots WA.
“He was a big reason why all of the owners have become great friends.
“A lot of Mighty Ronaldo’s owners didn’t know each other until John got them to come through the stable.
“I’m sure everyone is thankful they got to meet John and the way he got them all together.”
Mighty Ronaldo was aided by a perfect drive from Emily Suvaljko to win the Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m) earlier this month.
The Fremantle Cup win followed wins in the Golden Slipper and WA Derby in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
He has drawn barrier 10 tomorrow night and will start on the back of race favourite Diego.
Prentice said he hoped Lohman would be looking down on Mighty Ronaldo tomorrow night.
“I think he’s helped us in a few Group 1 races lately with Never Ending’s barrier draws,” he said.
“There’s been a couple of races with Mighty Ronaldo too where I’ve hoped he’s been watching over and opening the gaps for us.
“Hopefully he’s up there with a glass of red tomorrow night watching him too.”
Mighty Ronaldo looms as one of the key dangers Diego tomorrow night.
TABtouch has Diego as the $3.10 favourite, while Mighty Ronaldo is on the fourth line of betting at $6.
Prentice said he was happy with how the five-year-old had come through the Fremantle Cup and was capable of another feature win.
“The Fremantle Cup run was his third in three weeks because we had to get his form to where it needed to be,” he said.
“With the hot weather this week, I think he’s appreciated the extra week between runs.
“We wanted a draw where we could get a position without doing too much work and we’ve got that.
“I think he will be a threat in a lot of races when there’s speed on and he gets the right run.”
Prentice said while Rocknroll Lincoln’s Pacing Cup win was special, Mighty Ronaldo’s would carry extra significance.
“It all happened very quickly with Lincoln going all the way to Free-For-All and the Pacing Cup became a bit of a blur,” he said.
“Having Ronaldo all the way through from being a yearling would make it a bit more special.
“It would be pretty special to win the pinnacle race of his two-year-old and three-year-old season and then the Fremantle Cup and Pacing Cup.”
Tomorrow night’s WA Pacing Cup gets underway at 7.10.
Image – Hamilton Content Creators