Senior Jockey Jason Whiting-the Fish- showed the patience of the fisherman in bringing Tonto home in a tight finish to win the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1300m) at Belmont yesterday.
Jumping from barrier two, Tonto was always on the fence until the concluding stages when the master angler moved him off the fence and then withstood a late challenge from Liberty Rise (Troy Turner), coming from last. Liberty Rise is probably looking for more ground. The margin was a long head with a long neck to First Amongst Equals in third place.
Trainer Lou Luciani in describing Tonto’s third win from five starts said he was Guineas bound.
“It was a very good ride from the perfect barrier. I kept shaking my head at the early price offered of $7.50 but was happy to take it.”
Luciani said his charge was “easy to train and just like a big kid.”
RED AMBER: Owner Bob Peters was certainly happy with Red Amber’s performance over 2000m in taking out the Stayers Handicap. It was her third win in 12 starts and the first start over a journey.
“She is big and strong and went well as a three year old,” Peters said.
Trained by Adam Durrant the mare has been signalling she wants more ground and she ran down The Cat Rocks (Lucy Warwick) in the concluding stages to win pulling away. Andi’s Boy (Whiting) was well beaten into third place.
Pike said Red Amber was coming through the grades nicely. “Even when Lucy skipped her mount away on the corner I was not that worried because my mare felt really good.”
Pike said that the chestnut was potentially a Perth Cup prospect.
By John Elsegood