Rejuvenated galloper Global Flirt is bound for the Perth Cup after a strong win in the $80,000 GA Towton Cup (2200m) at Ascot.
Starting the equal $3.30 favourite, Global Flirt settled beautifully in third position and apprentice Mitchell Pateman made a winning move on the turn when he pounced on the lead.
The five-year-old held off the fast-finishing Bridgestone ($13) to win by a neck with fellow equal favourite Moonlight Bay a long neck away from the winner.
Global Flirt will be the first starter in the $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1 for trainer Justin Warwick, who has been a revelation since crossing from harness racing.
The Towton Cup win was the first at stakes level for Pateman, the son of former jockey and trainer Michael Pateman.
“I thought long and hard about it and everyone deserves a chance,” Warwick said.
“I like him as a jockey and a person.”
Warwick will consider targeting the $225,000 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) in a fortnight for Global Flirt.
“I thought he’d be hard to beat today,” Warwick said.
“He was 6kg down on his win at Pinjarra two starts ago and he had trained on well.”
Pateman said: “He put paid to the leading two pretty well and just had to hold off the ones finishing fast.”“I think he’s got a little bit of improvement in him.”