In the breeding game, patience is a virtue.
When European sire Fath was imported to WA, his stock were expected to be early runners.
Expectations were high when his first Southern Hemisphere starter, Keep Fath, won as a two-year-old at Ascot in 2011.
But WA racing never saw the best of Fath’s stock before a fatal snake bite in January last year.
On The Ropes showed why he could be the best of Fath’s Australian progeny with an explosive win in the Irish Day at Belmont on 5 October Handicap (1400m) at Belmont Park.
Starting a hot $2.80 favourite, On The Ropes settled fifth on the rail and bounded away from his rivals after shooting to the lead with 200m to go, scoring by four lengths for jockey Daniel Staeck.
Topper’s Halo ($6) ran on from last to charge into second and Closing Time ($10) was third.
On The Ropes backed up his brilliant debut win at Belmont last Wednesday week to keep his unbeaten record intact.
Trainer Fred Kersley said the gelding is a late-maturing type, having not started until he had just turned four.
“He’s doing a good job,” Kersley said.
“Everyone thought he (Fath) would throw early runners like he did in the Northern Hemisphere, but they’ve needed time.”
On The Ropes is bred and raced by Phil Ibbotson, the chairman of the Pinjarra Race Club and studmaster of Coolup-based Westbury Park Stud.
Breeder James Miorada stood Fath at Ibbotson’s Westbury Park Stud.
Ibbotson believes his search for a top galloper has finally produced one in On The Ropes.
“Hopefully he can make it to the top,” Ibbotson said.
“Obviously he’ll just go through his classes now, but I think there’s a good race in him.”
On The Ropes gave Kersley a Belmont double after his filly, De Jersey, won the Westspeed Sprint (1000m).Apprentice Jerry Noske also scored a double with De Jersey and Woken, who led all the way to win the perthracing.com.au Handicap (1600m).