It has certainly been a case of dark clouds producing a silver lining for trainer-driver Kim Prentice.
In the build up to the Fremantle Pacing Cup, he was suspended from training after one of his horses returned with a high cobalt level in November.
Tonight, he is a WA Pacing Cup winner for a third time, driving the Bryan Cousins-trained Soho Tribeca to victory at Gloucester Park.
Prentice produced a brilliant drive on the five-year-old to take out tonight’s Group 1 feature, he also won the race with Baltic Eagle in 2003 and drove Im Themightyquinn to the first of his three consecutive Pacing Cup wins in 2011.
Prentice said his third Pacing Cup win carried extra significance after a torrid month off the track, as well as receiving poor barriers in the Inter Dominion final where he finished sixth, and last week’s fifth place finish in the Fremantle Pacing Cup.
“The Inter Dominion was very disappointing, and last week was disappointing too,” he said.
“I’ve tried to put that behind me and worry about the job at hand of helping Bryan get the horse here as best as we can.
“To the horses credit, he got the job tonight.”
The win was also a welcome one for Cousins, who underwent surgery this week.
Prentice said Cousins had done a terrific job taking on the training duties of Soho Tribeca just weeks before the Pacing Cup.
“It’s been hard for Bryan,” he said.
“He’s been crook with a bad back, and went under the knife yesterday.
“He’s an elite sportsman himself, and he takes everything in his stride.
Prentice said he was also proud to win the race for Soho Tribeca’s owner and breeder for Robert Watson.
“To do it for Robert is very special,” he said.
“I said to Robert before the Inter Dominion ‘if this horse stays sound, in two years this horse could win two or three million dollars’.”
Despite drawing wide again in barrier eight, Prentice drove a bold race, moving outside the leader American Boy past the winning post on the first occasion.
Defending champion Chicago Bull, once again driven by Gary Hall Jr, was taken back to the rear of the field, before he moved to sit outside of Soho Tribeca when he took the lead past the winning post the second time.
Soho Tribeca left his rivals behind in the home straight, pulling away to win by eight metres, while Chicago Bull fought on gamely to run second, with The Bucket List back in third.
Prentice said everything worked out perfectly in the run, with a lead time of 1.39.1 setting up the dominant victory.
“My bloke was travelling nicely,” he said.
“I knew I was going to run second, if not win, and he ran away and won very easy.
“In the breeze with American Boy in the lead, I knew the only way he was going to hand over is if one of the others came from the back.
“That was the plan to go slow so we made them come at us.
“Everything worked out perfectly.”
Prentice confirmed Soho Tribeca’s campaign would continue to the east coast of Australia, with the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile firmly on the agenda.
The Group 1 win capped off a successful night for the Cousins and Prentice combination, after Abraxas Blues took out the second heat of the Nights Of Thunder earlier on the program.