WHEN Black Centurian and pre-race favourite Buster William pulled away on the final straight of the Bridport Hotel North Eastern Pacing Cup, trainer Steven Davis must have feared for a fourth-straight loss by a nose in the feature race at Scottsdale.
But Black Centurian – driven by Gareth Rattray – edged ahead and claimed the victory in the $12,000 race on Friday night.
It was bittersweet for the locals who were hoping for a win for Wayne Campbell-trained Buster William, but few would have begrudged the final outcome.
Black Centurian avoided a few galloping opponents earlier in the race which was lead by outsider Pushkin throughout before the favourites made their move on the final lap.
Davis said the hazards pushed them back one position further than they would have liked, and the pace of the race after the first lap slowed.
“We were relatively happy with the speed that was on the first lap and a half, but then they backed the speed off and we don’t really like that – we like to keep running,” he said.
“At the bell, once he got around them, it was just through guts and determination that won him the race.
“He’s been beaten by a nose in the past three years, so we were hoping to go one better.
“For a horse of his age to keep coming back, it’s great.”
The nine-year-old gelding claimed the win for owners G M Pearton Family Trust, backing up from his victory on New Year’s Day at St Marys. Major Callum was third and Monarkmac was fourth.