Lucy Warwick and William Pike started the 2014-15 season in the same fashion as they finished the old season.
Owner Bob Peters admitted to being worried, in the opening race over 1600m, when his horse Galaxy Prince, trained by Grant Williams, was near the rear and on the rails.
“Lucy got further back than I expected but rode well to come along the rails.”
In fact the dynamic apprentice never left the rails, from the inside barrier, although she momentarily thought about it in the home straight before pushing up along the fence.
In a four horse finish only narrow margins separated Galaxy Prince, On The Ropes, Full Steam Ahead and Red Blast.
Peters said that Galaxy Prince “prefers the sting out of the ground” and that the ideal dead four rating for the track was in his favour.
“At one stage I thought he was going to be our best horse but he has not given us that sort of performance. I was disappointed with his first up run coming back from a spell.” (Peters was referring to Galaxy Prince’s seventh behind Trade Down on July 12).
Galaxy Prince has won five times from 21 starts with seven placings.
As is her custom Lucy likes winning doubles and she and her trainer-father, Justin Warwick combined to win again with Calabria Joe, in the fourth race, the National Jockeys Celebration Day Handicap (1200m).
Initially she did not have much luck in trying to push out against William Pike. riding Well Spoken Man, on the home turn. Trying to push Pike about is like pushing against the Berlin Wall in the heyday of that infamous obstacle. As her father said” she got smashed back into her hole, despite doing the right thing.”
Despite the setback Warwick remained cool and worked between Castle Retreat (second) and Hellyer to eventually win by a length.
Calabria Joe a winner at his second start on July 26, was not ridden during the week and now has two wins from only three outings. The young galloper remains an exciting work in progress.
PIKE DOUBLE: William Pike had grey galloper Gladstone just off the speed in sixth placing for much of the Westspeed Stayers (2000m) race.
When the champion jockey asked Gladstone for an effort the Adam Durrant trained galloper moved on to an effortless win. True Gold and Verdello Blue battled on well in the fight for the places.
Durrant said the grey was “a big gross Clydesdale type” and that he needed to have the work kept right up to him.
“He has come on as a stayer after tending to over-race over shorter distances,” Durrant said.
Pike, the six time premiership jockey, continued to assert his authority, winning the third race over 2100m with form galloper Ram Jam. The Darren McAuliffe trained galloper has a hundred per cent winning record this campaign winning having now won four in a row.
Up on the speed early, Pike allowed Ram Jam to drift back to fifth before stoking him up again for a convincing one length win.
Pacemaker, Kirov Boy battled on well for second with Raising Dubai holding third, narrowly from Military Service.
DOGGED DUO: Apprentice jockey Renee Forrest has always said McScar is a great fighter and the grey did not let her down with a tenacious short head victory, over Trade Down, in the seventh race over 1400m.
McScar simply refused to surrender when most thought he was going to be run down after making the pace.
The duo are well matched as Forrest, like her charge, has a similar dogged and determined approach to racing.
Trainer David Harrison couldn’t believe the $31, and better, offered about his in form galloper.
By John Elsegood