Trainer Dan Morton and premiership silk William Pike banded together at Ascot today to capture a unique trainer/jockey double – one result a pleasant surprise – the other – quite expected.

The Banksia Capital HCP 2100m on paper looked a race in two, despite a barrage of money coming for the favourite Assets ‘N’ Cash ($2.10 fav) following the scratching of leading hope California Valley earlier that morning. The only other runner fancied on the tote was Boy Mambo ($4.80), whilst all other entrants were generally ignored by punters, as double figure odds were distributed evenly amongst the remainder of the field. An upset in the making was awaiting the outcome of this race, but finding that elusive victor would prove too hard for most.

The Universal Prince 3yo gelding Coughlin’s Law ($19.00) had offered little to suggest that it was nearing a victory. With a best result of fifth from its seven career starts, it is fair to say that “decision time” on the future of the gelding was fast approaching. But things can change quickly in horse racing, and what was about to unfold reinforced that fact.

Drawn widest of the ten runners, Pike charged Coughlin’s Law forward upon barrier rise, positioning his ride in third spot – one back on the fence with cover. Luminol ($11.00) sprung to the lead, while long shot Parador ($26.00) was also handy early. Turning for home, Pike got a favourable split – switching off the heels of the leader, to sprint to the line soundly for a one length victory. Daneclicked ($12.00) and Assets ‘N’ Cash had left their runs too late – hitting the line together for second and third respectively.

The second leg of the double would see a horse “on the up” continue its purple patch of form.

Punters could not get enough of the 5yo Galileo gelding Galiletto ($2.60 – $2.35 fav) prior to the start of the Norton Rose Aust. HCP 1400, confident that Morton’s latest stable star would complete yet another hat-trick of wins. As witnessed last preparation, Galiletto won three straight upon resuming, and with two solid wins already in the bag this time in, expectations of another “three for three” were high. Jumping well from barrier one, Pike shot Galiletto forward to sit outside the pacemaker Philby ($41.00). True Gold ($8.00) positioned a lot closer to the speed today to sit in third, while Flash Doll ($9.00) managed to find cover in fourth. Entering the straight, Pike said “go”, as Galiletto stormed to the lead and powered to the line with a length to spare. True Gold fought bravely into second, while The Tenby Friar ($13.00) produced the fastest final 600m time for the day (34.36 sec) when spearing home late from well back to claim third.

It was the seventh win from twelve career starts for Galiletto, three of which have been over the 1400m distance.

Chris Blackwell  – www.ozracing.com.au