It was day for horses from Perth Racing’s establishment to shine at Ascot.
Former vice chairman Lex Piper and his wife Shirley, celebrated a first and third in the Westspeed 2YO Plate with Senso (Ryan Hill) a clear winner with Lucky Legacy third.
Hill, from the outside barrier, had Senso away like The Flash and he led throughout the race to record a two length victory over Light Up The Sky.
Winning trainer Paul Jordan, who always likes his horses out in front said, he blamed himself for the fact that Senso had not won at his other two starts.
“He went into that first race with only a 400m trial as his experience and he was underdone in finishing third; he followed this up with a second placing after laying inwards in the home straight. Today I put blinkers on and he turned the tables on the two horses that beat him in those other races,” Jordan said.
Senso is now a strong fancy for the $250,000 Magic Millions Classic on February 15.
Perth Racing Chairman Ted van Heemst and his wife, Marilyn, were also in the winners circle after I’m Feeling Lucky came from last to claim the Bob Tate Memorial Handicap (1800m) in the last stride.
Ridden by the mercurial Shaun O’Donnell the bay mare fulfilled the old adage that a good horse with a good jockey can overcome a bad barrier.
O’Donnell was content to settle in last place after drawing barrier 13 and stayed there until approaching the turn. In a perfectly timed run he had the chestnut in front right on the post, snatching victory away from Steel Spur and Power Punch in a driving finish.
Trainer Cliff Smith said it was a terrific ride and that her last start third and track work during the week gave him every confidence going into the race.
The Bletchley Park mare has now won three races from 13 starts.
“She will be one of our best stayers next summer and also the best I have had since Corporate James” the Northam trainer said.
(Corporate James won races in NSW and also the Kalgoorlie and Boulder Cups, plus two Goodwood Sprints, in his 20 victories, in a career that finished in September 2000).
The combination of trainer Vaughn Sigley and jockey Takahide Ikenushi again produced the goods when She’s A Virtue won her third race from only four starts.
The mare was a comfortable winner, of the Happy70th Birthday Harvey Crossman Handicap (1100m), from Du Printemps and Jespatim.
Ikenushi has now had four wins from only five rides for the in-form trainer.
William Pike brought up his 60th metropolitan win for the season in the first race, almost twice as many as his nearest rival, apprentice Lucy warwick (now in Victoria). The top jockey had Evening Rose in last position some 10 lengths off the lead at one stage but the filly powered home to win her second 1600m race from successive starts.
Expect trainer Grant Williams to try Evening Rose over even more ground in the future.
Boutique plugged on for second and Cushryn worked home well, also from near the rear, to snatch third. This was a good run from the complete outsider as the grey filly was held up for a clear run on straightening until jockey Lisa Staples angled outwards at the 125m of the race.
by John Elsegood