London Banker prevails in stirring finish

London Banker prevails in stirring finish22 Mar 2020

Promising stayer London Banker took every centimetre of the 2100m distance of Saturday’s J Swap Contractors Bay Of Plenty Cup to get his nose in front as he prevailed in a thrilling finish to the middle-distance contest.

Searching for a hattrick of wins after success over the same distance at Te Teko and Ellerslie at his last two starts, the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-prepared Tavistock four-year-old had his many supporters on the edge of their seats as he waged a home straight war with the aptly named Bully Boy.

Co-trainer Wellwood was quick to admit he wasn’t quite sure if his charge had got in the deciding stride as the pair hit the line locked together.

“I think it was only at the post that he got his nose in front,” he said.

“He’s still immature, quite babyish and doing a bit wrong but he’s strung three together now and is a horse on the way up.”

Owned by Queensland-based couple Ron and Judy Wanless, who have been long term supporters of the Cambridge stable, London Banker was purchased by James for $100,000 from the Kilgravin Lodge draft at the 2017 Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka.

His grand-dam, dual Group Three winner Palos Verdes, is the dam of four-time Group One winner El Segundo with Wellwood keen to add further black-type to the family for his owners.

“We think he will have one more start in this campaign which will be in the Hawke’s Bay Cup (Listed, 2200m) next month,” he said.

“He will go for a spell after that but on what he has shown us so far he could be a very exciting horse if he can keep improving like he has.

“We haven’t really looked too far ahead but with his owners being Australian-based we could look at something over there but that hasn’t been discussed yet.” – NZ Racing Desk