After the first two races the question being asked was whether dynamic apprentice Lucy Warwick would win her first metropolitan treble to go with her only previous treble at the country track of Dongara.
Warwick rode very different races in landing Shengmu and Dubai Escapade in the first two races.
Trainer Fred Kersley said he would be happy to have” half of his stable with the ability of Shengmu” whom he described as “terrific filly.”
Warwick took her to the lead early in the Vale Bob Howat (1000m) race but she looked beaten at the 200m mark when Silver Trace loomed large.
However, the grey having it’s first run back since February failed to go on with it and with Warwick urging the more race hardened Shengmu on fought back to win by a short neck. Roebuck was well back in third place “I nursed her early and she was very tired at the end. She fought back well after being in danger,” Warwick said.
In the second race the leading apprentice combined with her trainer-father, Justin Warwick, to deliver a win for Perth Racing chairman Ted van Heemst and his wife Marilyn.
Aboard Dubai Escapade, Warwick copped a bump from Ram Jam (William Pike), at the start, but then swiftly switched across the heels of that favourite to be on the rails in third last position.
Warwick ‘did not spend a penny on Dubai Escapade,’ only leaving the rails in the home straight to go after the leaders Gold Broker and Get Round It.
It looked as if Dubai Escapade was going to have to settle for third but over the last 150m the leaders started to ‘paddle’ and the chestnut mowed them down to win going away.
Justin Warwick said he would have been happier if Dubai Escapade had been handier to the lead early, on the track rated a slow six.
“Lucy was obviously going to keep in touch with Willie, on Ram Jam. Dubai Escapade has been a horse that has not been good enough to find luck in running. She needed to put him into a gap for him to win and she did in the home straight.”
PR Chairman Ted van Heemst said he was pleased with the horse’s “g and d” (guts and determination). “He is a good honest performer who usually picks up a win every campaign and he fought on well today in the concluding stages.”
Dubai Escapade had been placed four times from nine starts at Belmont before this win. With six wins from 32 starts Warwick is of the opinion that the five year old chestnut is not beyond winning a quality race.
LAST RACE LUCY: The inevitable happened for Warwick when she won her first metropolitan treble, on Wild Charger, in the last race over 1400m. Wild Charger, trained by Peter and Matt Giadresco, finished with the proverbial wet sail, coming from last to snatch victory by a short neck from On The Ropes (Steven Parnham).
Dropping back early, from a wide barrier, Warwick confessed, “I did not want to go wide when making my run but I had nowhere else to go. At the 150m mark I thought I had it won but Steven’s horse fought back well.”