Leading Perth trainer Fred Kersley has won his second Group 3 Roma Cup in three years with track specialist Grand Nirvana.
Grand Nirvana was given a barrier trial earlier in the week, and with his blinkers removed, he produced a powerful finish to win the Roma Cup for the second time.
The classy five year old won the race as a three year old and was unlucky not to repeat the dose last year, when he finished third.
Grand Nirvana ($14.30) finished strongly to overhaul pre-race favourite Power Princess, while King Kool Kat finished third.
Kersley’s daughter Karen represented the stable and passed on all race instructions to jockey Daniel Staeck.
“His only instruction was to stay off the fence,” said Karen Kersley.
“He does love the Belmont track a bit better than the Ascot one,” said Kersley.
Jockey, Daniel Staeck confirmed that Grand Nirvana was a much more effective galloper when he did not carry the blinkers.
“The horse has probably matured a bit. He’s a little different to the seasons we’ve raced him before at Belmont.
“Fred and I were both of the opinion he was better off without the blinkers at this stage of his life and raced true,” said Staeck.
Grand Nirvana has now won in excess of $860,000 and looks destined to become one of the few local horses to win a million dollars specifically from racing in W.A.