IT’S been a long time since he was able to do it, but Lap Of Honour performed his namesake ritual at Globe Derby yesterday.
Registering a long overdue victory, Lap Of Honour made his first visit to the winners’ circle since scoring in Northam on October 16, 2021.
The son of Follows The Stars joined local trainer Chris Neilson’s stable in early 2022, which was the beginning of a frustrating period for the horseman.
“He’s a pain in the butt,” Neilson said. “He’s got all the ability, but it just doesn’t show up very often!
“It’s a test of character for the trainer and you spend a lot of money to win a little, but it is more a principle thing to show he can do it.”
With Michael Smith in the cart, Lap Of Honour was given time to settle into his stride from barrier seven before being sent forward to test the leader, Celestial Topaz, from the ‘death seat’.
Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, the gelding staved off a late challenge from Goodtime Halo to score by a short half-head.
Celestial Topaz battled on to be six-and-a-half metres away third in 1:59.1 over 1800 metres.
“That was the kind of run I always knew he was capable of,” Neilson said. “To be honest, two starts ago I said if he doesn’t show what he should I’ll pull the pin.
“He ran third that day which earned him a reprieve and now a win will keep him going a little longer.
“The reality is he is more of a stable pet than a racehorse, so he’ll be sticking around for a while.”