It is not often that you tip half the card and still have an ordinary day at the office, but that’s what transpired at Belmont Park this weekend as five of the eight public elects saluted with relative ease – sending shock waves through the Bookies ring. The “bag-men” were lynched from the outskirts, as favourite after favourite scored from a handy position in transit or better. Young apprentice Lucy Warwick was stunning in saddle in her first look at weekend winter headquarters returning a classy double aboard Celebrity Miss for Grant Williams in the second, before driving Lucciola to the line for her father Justin Warwick in the penultimate. Trainer Grant Williams went on to also prepare the winner of the feature Group 3 Hyperion Stakes 1600m – Elite Belle – to finish best of the trainers on the day.
PR1). Westspeed HCP 2YO BM62+ 1200m.
The test was the step up to 1200m for the unbackable favourite Rebel King ($1.25 fav), but when jockey Ben Kennedy strolled the multiple winner to the front upon barrier rise – the only test would be who could keep up. Many tried – many failed – and it would be only Secret Display ($21.00) making up ground late, as Rebel King cantered to a soft 1 ¼ length victory. Myboypaul ($18.00) rounded out the minors to cross the line a further 1 ¾ lengths adrift in third.
WATCH: Big run from Secret Display on debut coming from near last on the turn – a big watch going forward.
PR2). Perth Racing Membership F&M BM60+ 1200m.
With one favourite in the bag, punters were looking to wreak havoc early and there looked no better opportunity that the chances of More Than Ready mare Celebrity Miss ($3.30 – $2.70 fav). Apprentice Lucy Warwick started well with the favourite – electing to position closer to the pace in sixth with cover. The speed up front was frenetic, and as they swung for home Warwick presented Celebrity Miss who responded in style to gather the leaders and shoot clear for a 1 ¾ length victory. Futurism ($8.00) stuck on well into second, with Hold The Money ($16.00) falling into third.
WATCH: Angel Rose had no luck in running but finished off the race nicely – should be winning races this preparation.
PR3). Barry James Farmer 70th Birthday C,H&G BM60+ 1200m.
The career of Portonian ($3.20 – $2.50 fav) had taken a hit over the last 12 months, with a couple of substandard performances casting a blot on an otherwise promising report card. Resuming with a soft recent trial win, punters unleashed on the public elect – discarding the recent poor form with confidence, but they would be in for yet another disappointing result from the Testa Rossa 4yo. Wombie’s Legacy ($6.00) stormed to the front as expected, as Portonian sat in fifth and could not have asked for a better run in transit. But entering the straight, Portonian failed to settle and laid inwards terribly as Wombie’s Legacy kicked clear to score an authorative two length victory. Portonian languished into fifth, while Shawshank ($9.50) battled away into second – 1 ¾ lengths clear of the fast finishing Zuccheros ($7.50) in third.
WATCH: Nice performance for Zuccheros coming from tenth to round out the minors – crying out for 1400m on that run.
PR4). Westspeed HCP 3YO BM62+ 1200m.
The tally stood at 2 – 1 to the punters heading into the last leg of the minor quaddie, and like the unfortunate score-line to the Socceroo’s World Cup clash with Chile earlier that morning, the winner would come in the fourth for the equine investors. The Aquanita trained Sujet ($1.80 fav) had impressed upon its return the other week with a devastating win after blowing the start, and when the Vital Equine gelding commence well today to take a handy sit in fourth – punters were queuing to collect. It was another slashing run in the straight, with Jason Whiting accelerating Sujet when it mattered – accounting for rivals with ease for a two length triumph.
WATCH: The run of the race was from Arcadia Rose – a very good thing beaten coming from near last with excuses – straight into the Black Book you go…
PR5). $125,000 Group 3 Hyperion Stakes WFA 1600m.
Punters were having a field day, and leading into the feature event hopes remained high as the “good-thing” of the day was preparing to run – but unlike previous results for the day, they were going to be for a close one. Elite Belle ($1.50 fav) had resumed in career best form following a luckless close second to Magnifisio in the Roma Cup, before destroying rivals in the Belmont Sprint a fortnight ago. William Pike again took the ride, and sat the raging favourite in third with cover before shifting gears to career to the lead. But a fight was in store, as Grand Nirvana ($21.00) came again after being headed, before Ranger ($5.00) dived through late between horses to fall painfully short – Elite Belle clinging on by a mere head.
WATCH: Despite not having saluted for nearly 1000 days, Ranger was all class and very deserved of a change of luck soon.
PR6). TABTouch Supporting The Industry BM72+ 1000m.
It was only a matter of time before the Bookies would have something to cheer about, and when Pininci ($12.00) did enough to outlast a desperate final effort from Dream Lifter ($8.50) in the sixth – some fiscal relief was ensured. It’s A Merc ($9.00) led to no surprise, but Pat Carbery had Pininci in a commanding position upon straightening and accounted for the front runners with ease as it stormed down the centre of the track. But from nowhere came Dream Lifter, weaving through a wall of horses with grace, only to miss in the final stride – a half head the painstaking margin. Favourite On The Ropes ($2.50 fav) failed to reproduce its dazzling turn of foot seen first up, but did muscle into third late from well back.
WATCH: Boy Oh Boy!!! – what a run from Dream Lifter over the non-preferred trip – massively inconvenienced in the straight and still recorded the fastest final 600m – will be winning soon.
PR7). Westspeed Stayers Bonus BM66+ 2000m.
The Bookies were happy to reveal “$6 the field” in what presented as a very open distance contest for the penultimate event, but a late money surge from the punters would not only find an eventual favourite – but would also land the prize. Apprentice Lucy Warwick had already tasted success on her debut weekend meeting, and her dream start was about to continue – this time for her father (trainer Justin Warwick) with the Verglas 5yo Lucciola ($6.00 – $5.00 fav). In what was a steady clip Hinzley ($26.00) led to the turn, before Warwick fired up Lucciola from a handy fifth to race away in the straight for a magic 1 ½ length victory. Ultimate Success ($7.00) flew home late from tenth to claim second – a half-length clear of a tiring Verdello Blue ($21.00) in third.
WATCH: There were a lot of hard-luck stories in the charge for home – none more so than Just A Falcon – we will keep this one safe again next start.
PR8). WWW.TABTouch.com.au BM72+ 1400m.
The joy emulating from the punters was unavoidable, but the last laugh would go to the turf accountants who claimed a nice consolation prize when rank outsider New Time ($26.00) did enough to win the lucky last. Having not added to its winning tally in 469 days, the Key Business 6yo was resuming following a sound trial performance, and when hoop Jason Brown darted past leader Rusty Peaches ($31.00) inside the final furlong – the chase was on. First came Danablue ($5.00) who looked the goods before peaking on its run, before Dark Delight ($4.20) stormed into calculations late to fall short in the shadows of the post by a mere half-head.
WATCH: We will stay with Dark Delight and despite concerns over its “non-winner” status – today’s effort was too good to dismiss.
As stated early – four winning tips / no money in the “sky rocket” – quite rare, but answered easily – we hinged our Multi bets poorly. Portonian was our worst result, and in hindsight was a dreadful risk as a best bet, while each way Dark Delight going down narrowly added the final nail. We found the minor quaddie which paid $29.30 (woopdy do…), and a small trifecta in the fourth, but for the most the novelty bets eluded us. The late tip came for Dream Lifter in the sixth that just fell short, while Maddie Just A Falcon was found out of its ground and was carved up in the run home.
The Verdict: From a back pocket perspective – a disappointing fail.