From humble beginnings in a Narrogin maiden at the age of four to eight black type wins and three Group One minor placings, Material Man will go down as one of Western Australia’s greatest thoroughbreds of recent years.

Nine-year-old gallopers first up carrying 58 kilograms are not supposed to perform as well as Material Man did in the Railway Stakes. Material Man finished fifth in the Ascot mile, two and a quarter lengths behind lightly weighted winner Inspirational Girl, which carried five kilos less than the Justin Warwick-trained chestnut. On weights and measures, Material Man was the run of the Railway Stakes, which makes it all the more disappointing he will not line up in next month’s Kingston Town Classic, also at Ascot.

A ligament tear sustained in Material Man’s third Railway Stakes appearance – and, according to Punting Form, his highest rating performance in the event – means he will retire with a record of 16 wins from 37 starts, including one Group Two, four Group Three and three Listed victories. The best son or daughter of Vital Equine, Material Man is the only thoroughbred to win the Belmont features of the Belmont Sprint, the Hyperion Stakes and the Strickland Stakes in the same season and, of course, his Perth Cup success resulted in the Warwick family creating history.

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