Most punters thought trainer Jim Taylor had a stranglehold on the Group III Prince of Wales Stakes (1200m) with boom gallopers Barakey and Magnifisio.
However it was the Grant Williams trained Elite Belle that rained on the parade with Taylor’s pair finishing in second and fourth respectively.
Barakey made the pace, after taking over from his stablemate shortly after the start, and appeared to be heading for win number 14 from 16 starts.
However, top jockey William Pike then balanced up Elite Belle from second last position, on the turn, and the mare unleashed a whirlwind finish to win going away from the sprint champion by three quarters of a length.
“She felt good on the corner but having Barakey travelling well in front hardly gives confidence .”
Brad Parnham, aboard Checkpoint, just edged younger brother Chris out of third place.
Elite Belle’s owner Bob Peters said “I am not easily shocked but this win, and the manner of it, was a surprise.”
Peters said that coming back from a strained tendon was rare. He said the Lee Steere and Railway Stakes were Elite Belle’s preferred future races.
CUANZO AND FISH: Another fine performance from the rear came from Cuanzo (Jason Whiting) who railed brilliantly to snatch defeat over Shengmu (Lucy Warwick), a galloper going for his fourth successive win in the Seacorp Handicap (1100m).
“It was a perfect ride by Jason and a brilliant win backing up from his third in the Belgravia Stakes seven days ago,” trainer Eric Wake said.
“That was the best of his three wins (from six starts) and although it does not worry me to see him race at the back I was just hoping the gap would come.” It did and Whiting surged along the fence to claim the favourite, narrowly, in a fierce duel in which neither horse surrendered. Django was third.
Wake said future race plans for Cuanzo would be the Fairetha Stakes and WA Guineas.
“He is a versatile type that has also won from leading in his races,” Wake said.
by John Elsegood