The undefeated record for two of WA’s star up and coming sprinters remained intact today at Belmont, with premiership silk William Pike pulling out all stops aboard the promising pair.
Vital Equine filly Takanori ($3.00 fav) made it four from four with a narrow victory in the Gold Front Thoroughbreds Sprint 1000m. Looking troubled at the 400m, Pike went for the persuader at the top of the straight and Takanori responded with a grinding attack at the line – holding out the fast finishing Amber’s Hero ($12.00) by a short head.
The red hot Snitzel 3yo gelding Smoko ($1.35 fav) provided a cleaner cut victory for Pike in the Slater Standing At Gold Front Thoroughbreds HCP 1200m. Storming to the lead from barrier twelve, Pike toyed with rivals as one by one the pressuring challengers fell away. Entering the straight, the race was over – Smoko again coasting clear to capture a 2 ¾ length victory – it’s third in as many starts.
Pike would later secure a riding treble aboard Northpace ($2.60 fav) for trainer Adam Durrant in the Dayana Plate 2000m, when coming from last to run away with a 3 ½ length lynching. It was the second leg of a training double for Durrant who had earlier prepared Razed In Flames ($4.00 fav) to win the Gold Front Thoroughbreds Breeding & Racing HCP 2100m by a nose.
In other races, three frantic finishes would be decided by a bob of the head. Jockey Paul King found the line in the last stride when successful aboard Step Right Up ($10.00) in the Westspeed Nursery HCP for the 2yo’s over 1400m. Jordan Mallyon did much the same with The Corporation ($4.60) getting the nod in the Frank Farrelly HCP 1600m by a short half head, while Steven Parnham won the photo finish with Tax A Million ($9.50) in the Gold Front Sprint 1200m by a head.
In the feature of the day, apprentice hoop Ben Paterson produced a text book ride aboard Summah’s Touch ($1.90 fav) when careering away with a two length salute in the listed Belmont Oaks 2000m.
The Hoops / Trainers
William Pike piloted a treble aboard Takanori, Smoko and Northpace. Adam Durrant trained a race day double with Razed In Flames and Summah’s Touch both successful.
Laying promising youngsters Takanori and Smoko was not Blackie’s best advice to start the day, but he did rally to find the feature double – Northpace into Summah’s Touch winning comfortably to return $4.75. Blackie also found a small trifecta in the third ($14.60), and a healthy first four quartet ($297.30) in the fourth.
On the east coast, Shane resumed from a short spell in stunning fashion. At Rosehill, Shane found Mic Mac ($16.00) and the trifecta ($334.80) in the Civic Stakes 1350m, and Master Harry ($21.00) together with the quinella ($58.10) in the Tab.com.au HCP 1100m. Shane also tipped De Fine Lago ($6.00) at Flemington, and Doubtfilly ($5.00) together with the quinella ($22.80) in the Limited Ascot HCP 1200m at Eagle Farm.
The Black Book
Spin Da Wheels stormed home from tenth in the opener to fall short by a stride, while Malaika must be considered for a longer event when coming from last to get within a length of victory over the mile.