The “rise and rise” of the exciting Oratorio gelding Ora Dare took another magical step forward today at Belmont, following a hard fought victory in this year’s Carbine Club of WA Apprentice’s Cup 2200m.

Appearing from the wilderness last month with a crushing maiden victory over 2200m at Northam, the Adam Durrant trained 4yo stepped up to midweek company last start to salute over 2100m – earning the right to start raging favourite for today’s race.

Again Ora Dare ($1.80 fav) would contest “horse on the up” Battle Ace ($4.60), who it had accounted for by a half-length at their midweek outing. With a 2½ kg swing in the weights for today’s event, punters envisaged another close finish – and they weren’t to be disappointed.

Dashing clear from the pack at the 300m mark, the pair embarked on a titanic struggle down the Belmont straight, with no-one prepared to declare a winner at any point of the sprint home.

Battle Ace looked set to capitalise on its lighter impost, but hoop Ben Paterson rose to the occasion – lifting the brave Ora Dare in the shadows of the post for a memorable and somewhat reminiscent half-length triumph.

Endless Sacrifice ($13.00) finished a further two lengths away in third, with Bedamijo ($13.00) a further two lengths adrift in fourth.

It would be the first leg of a riding double for Paterson, who would later steer Rose Of Choice to victory in the HCP 1300m.

Chris Blackwell