Pierro gelding Action has stamped himself as the best staying three-year-old in Western Australia, with a dominant win in the Group 2 WATC Derby at Ascot this afternoon.
Action’s win was owner Bob Peters eighth win in the race, while it was a seventh win in the event for William Pike, who joined Frank Moore as the most successful jockey in the race’s history.
While for trainer Grant Williams, it was his sixth win in the Group 2, and a first one in a training partnership with wife Alana.
Action put in a brilliant Derby trial in the Listed Melvista Stakes a fortnight ago when he finished fifth behind Money Maher.
Pike had Action positioned midfield, as Rojo Calor and He’s A Parker set a steady tempo in front.
Money Maher was given every chance once again by jockey Jarrad Noske, as he settled the colt one off the fence in fourth.
Pike made his move at the top of the straight with Action, and loomed into the race ominously, before he took the lead at the 200m.
In his biggest test so far, Action lived up to the hype that had surrounded him after his first two wins, as he stormed away to win by four lengths.
After the race, Peters said it had been a nervous build up with the gelding, given he missed a crucial lead-up run in the Listed J.C. Roberts Stakes (1800m) on March 24.
“He’s a nice horse,” he said.
“William was brave, he took off early and went wide.
“Obviously the horse was ready for the race.
“It’s a good performance given the margin, and he beat nice horses.”
Peters said the gelding would likely head to the spelling paddock, but didn’t completetly rule out taking him to Adelaide for the South Australian Derby on May 12.
Like A Butterfly capped off an outstanding campaign, running on gamely to finish second to go with her second placing in the WA Oaks last week.
The decision by the connections of Media Baron to pay the late entry fee was vindicated, with the gelding finishing third, while Money Maher was fourth.