Ultimate Art will arrive at this month’s group 1 Inter Dominion series in Perth bouyed by a last-start victory in good company at Menangle on Sunday.
The six-year-old gelding defeated race favourite Lombo Kotakinabalu, which had won five of six previous runs, and fellow Inter Dominion chance Blazin N Cullen in the $22,260 Campbell Advisory Pace (1609 metres).
Ultimate Art’s Ellalong-based trainer-driver Michael Formosa said the performance from his stable star wasn’t unexpected.
“He has been going really good so it was no surprise to see him win on Sunday,” Formosa said. “He had a soft run last week so we decided to back up and he was probably just a little bit too fit for the favourite.”
Ultimate Art was ranked 15th in the latest Inter Dominion standings released last week.
Acceptances are officially announced next Friday with the top 30 horses taking part in a three-heat series from November 25.
Those with the most points advance to the $1.1million final on December 9.
“Most of those horses he has raced and beaten here or there along the way,” Formosa said. “But a lot of it will depend on luck and draws for our guy. We understand that but we’ve never been before and might not get another chance so we’re giving it a crack.”
Ultimate Art didn’t travel to Western Australia for the series 12 months ago but won a heat and finished seventh in the Inter Dominion final at Menangle in March last year.
Between February and July this year the two-time group-1 champion placed in 12 of 14 straight races, including eight straight wins.
Formosa, 45, was set to face a steward’s inquiry at Newcastle on Monday night.