First blood for the Bunbury racing season features went to trainer Adam Durrant with a crushing victory for Tick Tick Bloom ($2.40 fav) in the $100,000 Listed Bunbury AHA Cup 2000m.
Perched last throughout, premiership hoop William Pike rated the Viscount mare to perfection on an otherwise leaders-bias track – circling the tiring field on the turn to race away with a dominant three-quarter length win.
It had been a mixed Labour Day long weekend for Durrant, whose only other winner came with Carry The Nation ($3.60) saluting in the second at Ascot on Saturday, while his eastern states prepared contingent Real Love and Chester Road failed to finish in the placing’s in their respective Group races at Caulfield.
Pike was “on fire” at Bunbury yesterday with a late treble – guiding Chocolate Moon ($5.00) to a good first up win in the Prince Of Wales & BTC Combined HCP 1410m, before Tick Tick Bloom did the job in the AHA, and followed it up with a driving triumph aboard Halo Express ($2.70 fav) in the last after coming from second on the turn.
Tick Tick Bloom has now recorded 7 barnstorming victories from its 14 start career, and pushes its prize earnings beyond $300,000.
In other races, jockey Paul Harvey secured a race to race double for local trainer Chris Stelmach with Secret Display ($2.80) prevailing narrowly in the Prince Of Wales Bistro 3YO Maiden 1410m, before landing firm favourite Trevinski ($2.10 fav) by three-quarters of a length in the Functions At The Prince 3YO+ Maiden 1410m.