Prominent hoop Shaun O’Donnell produced a race to race double today at Belmont, with two masterful rides aboard two “classi” horses.
Classique Ivory ($7.00) was resuming in the Facebook.com/perthracing HCP 1200m from a stellar campaign prior, which had seen the Savabeel 4yo string together three impressive victories between 1200 and 1500 metres. Despite winning first up last preparation over the 1200m trip, punters were weary – hinging their hopes on the Pearl Of Love mare Sweet Serenity ($3.80 fav), while Miss Solis ($6.00) and Stacks On ($6.00) also attracted late money.
With a blistering tempo set by Tax A Million ($11.00) up front, the majority of the field were left flat footed, as the leader stormed further ahead entering the straight. But Classique Ivory had had a soft run in transit and descended on the front runner inside the 50m to snare a short neck victory in the last gasp.
O’Donnell produced a near mirror image ride in the very next race – the Ladies Day Luncheon Sprint 1000m. Piloting the Stephen Rowe trained Classitheatre ($13.00), O’Donnell positioned his mount in the cheap seats, as raging favourite Terkel ($2.70) endeavoured to lead all the way. Again the final 50m would be the undoing of the leader, as Classitheatre shot through late to claim the favourite in the dying stages of the race to salute by ¾ length.
Despite the Summah’s Touch landslide victory from near last in the listed Belmont Guineas feature (1600m), most victors came from a handy or better position at Belmont today.
The impressive Smoko ($1.28 fav) had the only all the way win, when blousing rivals by four lengths in the Tabtouch.mobi Sprint 1000m. There were two more winning favourites on the day, with Ihtsahymn ($1.85 fav) coming from sixth on the turn to crush it’s opposition by three lengths in the Westspeed Nursery HCP 1600m, while When We Were Kings ($3.80 fav) also came from sixth to claim the Playeronline.com.au HCP 1600m by a mere nose.
In other races, Cyber Crime ($8.50) was third on the turn, before peeling around the leader and finding the line by a long head in the Michael Gangemi 90th Birthday HCP 2200m, and Ten Aces ($10.00) came from fifth to get the right bob in – successful in the Ozbet.com.au HCP 1400m by a short head.
The Hoops / Trainers
Shaun O’Donnell moved to third on the jockey premiership with a race to race double, while the trainers shared the spoils.
Blackie was optimistic of his hopes in the latter races at Belmont today, but it would be his earlier selections that would bank a profit – with winners Ihtsahymn ($1.85 fav), Cyber Crime ($8.50), and Classique Ivory ($7.00) all saluting. Blackie also found the trifecta in the third ($167.30).
On the east coast, Shane was again drenched by the weather – with Randwick abandoned after the third race. He did manage to find The Cleaner ($7.00) at Flemington, and Fire Up Fifi ($3.70) at Eagle Farm.
The Black Book
Northpace was dead unlucky in the Guineas, and stays under notice after being held up at the top of the straight, while Ultimate Success drew the river in the last but still managed to rattle home from last on the turn to capture third.