Training honours went to Dan Morton today at Ascot, preparing a race day double – with inspiring wins from stablemates Ningaloo Blitz and Galiletto.
Silk Jordan Mallyon continued his brilliant form, producing a clinical ride aboard 4yo Natural Blitz mare – Ningaloo Blitz ($6.00) – to take out the Charlie Landro Birthday HCP 2200m. Positioning near last from barrier rise, Mallyon showed patience beyond his years, as Bunbury sensation Fa’em ($4.00) sped to the led and stacked on the pace. As the field strung out, race favourite Operational ($2.90 fav) and Ambers Kingdom ($11.00) were forced to go with the early leader, as the rest of the field struggled to tack on.
Passing the 400m mark, jockey Paul Harvey peeled three wide on the favourite, easily accounting for Fa’em and Ambers Kingdom in a heartbeat, and shot Operational ahead by a couple of lengths inside the final furlong. But from the clouds came Ningaloo Blitz, careering down the centre of the track at the rate of knots – picking up Operational in the final strides to secure a half-length victory.
It has been an incredible purple patch of form for Ningaloo Blitz, returning its fourth win on end this preparation, with barnstorming victories at Pinjarra, Bunbury and Ascot.
The second leg of Morton’s double was equally impressive.
Despite winning three in row at the start of its last preparation, the 5yo Galileo gelding – Galiletto ($13.00) was unwanted by the punters in the tabozbet.com.au HCP 1200m. Drawing the river (barrier 12), apprentice hoop Rayce Nielsen was forced to send his mount forward early, taking a sit outside early leader Catlantic ($13.00). The pair, eye-balling each other all race, took off passing the final turn, leaving all rivals in their wake. It was a “ding-dong” charge to the line, with Galiletto getting the bob in to prevail by a long neck. Race favourite Carry The Nation ($4.60 fav) worked home well from eleventh on the turn to finish a length away in third.
It was the fifth win from ten starts for Galiletto, with its prize money closing in on $100,000.