In the space of a week jockey Takahide Ikenushi has taken out two feature $100,000 races, both of them on the Vaughn Sigley trained Dawn Approach.
Fresh from winning the Mungrup Sprint at Mt Barker last Sunday Ikenushi adopted the same front running tactics on Dawn Approach in the Miss Andretti Stakes at Ascot yesterday.
The win bought up a hat-trick of victories for the four year old son of Statue of Liberty who commenced the winning spree on January 10 when ridden by Lucy Warwick.
Sigley has also had three winners in a fortnight and with only a medium sized team has produced 11 winners on metropolitan tracks this season from 47 runners with a winning strike rate of 22 per cent with provincial tracks included.
Dawn Approach was trailed by the favourite, last start winner Cool Trade, and that galloper had every chance but was beaten at the 200m mark and could only follow the leader to the post with daylight still separating them. Pininci was third.
Sigley said Dawn Approach was a horse that always gave a 100 per cent in his races. “He has only been out of the prize money once as a two year old and he went shin sore on that occasion.”
On Ikenushi, Sigley said,” Ike has deserved his successes on this horse as he does the track work and has a good pair of hands. He has won three races for me in his only three rides.”
That record was spoiled in the last race when Two Toned Blonde was unplaced behind Highly Secret- a win that gave William Pike his usual treble for the day after earlier winning with King River and Roman Knows.
Other good riding performances came from senior jockeys Peter Knuckey and Troy Turner.
Knuckey landed Essayez a winner in her first race for novice trainer Martin Allan who gained his licence just before Christmas; but the jockey was even better in giving leading trainer Adam Durrant the first leg of a winning double when he scored on Dragonlead in the Australia Day Cup (2200m).
Knuckey took off from near the rear, in a dawdling run race, at the 1100m to lead the field by the 800m and give them something to chase. However, at the finish Already Famous was still three lengths behind the impressive winner.
Turner landed $10 chance Moonsearch a comfortable winner for trainer Colin Webster in the Magic Millions Handicap (1400m).
“His first up run coming back from a spell was very good and he runs well second up so I expected a good showing,” Webster said.
It was apparent before the 200m mark that Turner was poised to run over the top of them, after moving Moonsearch into third position in the home straight. Balbowa worked home well to run second with Moet Me fading to third.
by John Elsegood