Today’s book of narrow victories did nothing to lower the fragile blood pressure of the ailing punter, with less an half a length deciding five of the races.

With the three remaining longer winning margins seeing the favourites defeated, and only two public elects returning to scale – one would assume a comprehensive victory for the “bag-men”.

The pain commenced in the very first race – the Westspeed Stayers HCP 2200m, when the Toby Roney trained Verdello ($7.00) outlasted the fast finishing equal favourites Looking Ahead ($3.20 equ fav) and Classique Ivory ($3.20 equ fav) by a short head and a long head respectively.

Finnegans Gold ($7.00) produced the only “all the way” victory of the day, withstanding the brave The Alleged ($11.00) by a short neck in the HCP 1600m, while Ora Dare ($1.80 fav) also had to fight hard – outlasting Battle Ace ($4.60) to win the Carbine Club of WA Apprentices Cup 2200m by a half-length.

Moet Me ($6.50) motored home from sixth on the turn to upset Steel Almighty ($2.20 fav) by a head in the Westspeed HCP 1300m, and punters finally rejoiced (the hard way) when Rose Of Choice ($4.40 fav) made it back to back victories to salute in the HCP 1300m by a long neck.

In other races, Topper’s Halo ($3.40) rattled home from seventh on the turn to claim the Crown Perth HCP 1400m by 1 ¼ lengths, while last start midweek winner Little Shadow ($12.00) stepped up nicely to weekend company with a dominate two length hiding in the Skyy Vodka HCP 1200m.

In the feature – Kalahaar ($3.80) finally got the better of Settle Strada ($2.30 fav) to win the Farnley Stakes – storming home from eighth on the turn for a comfortable length margin.

The Hoops / Trainers

Ben Paterson continued his sensational form with a riding double aboard Ora Dare and Rose Of Choice, while there were no multiple victories for the trainers.

The Tipsters

Blackie had a day to forget – plagued by fourths and minor placing’s. He did find the $62.60 trifecta in the second and a cheap exacta in the sixth.

On the east coast, Shane did considerably better with another slashing day on the punt.

At Flemington Shane found Charlie Boy ($21.00), Foreteller ($15.00) to beat Puissance De Lune in the Makybe Diva, and Commanding Jewel ($9.00) in the last. At Rosehill, Shane spotted Hawkspur ($5.50) and That’s A Good Idea ($2.45 fav), while at Eagle Farm he was successful with Queen Of The Loch ($10.00).

The Black Book

Double Jester could not find a run in the straight but finished off better than any in the fifth, while Looking Ahead was a stride away from victory in a sensational conclusion to the opener.

Chris Blackwell