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Multiverse proved there was no certainty in racing when he scored a surprising win in the Tabtouch-Better Your Bet Handicap (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday.

With Battle Storm in the line-up the popular consensus from punters was that the remainder of the four-horse field would be running for second billing.

As he has been throughout his previous five starts Battle Storm was sent out the raging hot favourite and extending his unbeaten record appeared a formality.

But in a major upset the Statue Of Liberty gelding, raced by Bob Peters and prepared by Adam Durrant, couldn’t go past a runner in the straight.

Stepping up to 1200m for the first time Battle Storm finished last behind Multiverse, suffering the first loss of his six start career.

Peters, who later ended a mixed day winning with Zaratite, said there had to be genuine reasons for Battle Storm’s defeat.

“There is something wrong with him, I think,” Peters said.

“I’m a bit worried about what maybe wrong with him.”

Despite the shock win, Crispin was not totally surprised by Multiverse’s performance and said the son of Universal Ruler flies under the radar.

Giving Jason Whiting the first-leg of a double, Multiverse gained a perfect inside run and defeated Abdicator by a half-length.

In Love With Paris was a long-head away third and arguably could have finished closer if not better after getting held up in the straight.

“When you are up against a few of Bob’s (Peters) and that you don’t always have that confidence, but I’ve always said he was underrated,” Crispin said.

“I think he proved that today.”

Five-year-old Multiverse improved his record to eight wins from 18 starts and went back-to-back after defeating Nelson’s Flight a month ago.

Crispin said he has to make the most of his opportunities with Multiverse because unfortunately the gelding is restricted to a limited campaign.

“He’ll just be a winter horse,” Crispin said.

“He improves this time of year.

“He struggles with allergies coming into spring and won’t do as good.”

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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It took until race five, far longer than Pike and his supporters would have expected, but the champion rider broke the Australian record for the number of winners in a season when he guided Zaratite at Belmont on Saturday.

Pike scored his 224th victory on the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Zaratite, the raging hot favourite in the Quayclean Handicap (2000m), to better Alan Robinson’s 223.5
win benchmark that was set in season 2005-06.

Pike rebounded after a couple of major shocks earlier in the meeting when Cryptic Wonder ($1.70), Battle Storm ($1.45) and Mystery Miss ($1.12) in the Listed Belmont Classic (2200m) were rolled as the short priced favourites.

Cryptic Wonder and Mystery Miss were beaten by narrow margins, a short half-head and long-head respectively while Battle Storm couldn’t go past a rival in the run home and
finished last, suffering his first defeat in six starts.

Pike later added to his tally when he got Neurological out of an awkward spot in the straight. Once clear the improving four-year-old, who ended a run of minor placings for trainer Martin Allan, had enough in hand to win the Crown Perth Handicap (1400m) by a neck over the luckless Taxagano.

Pike, who was warmly greeted by appreciative supporters on his return to the winner’s enclosure including an embrace from former leading jockey and recent WA Racing Hall Of Fame inductee, Rod Kemp, said he had to be patient before creating Australian racing history.

“It was hard to think because leading up to that ride it didn’t feel like a successful season,” Pike said.

“I’ve had a few ups and downs, but I think I’m getting better at handling them.

“Overall I didn’t think I had done a terrible job on most of them.

“Maybe the two-year-old (Cryptic Wonder) wasn’t my best, but I felt the rest had their chance.

“They weren’t quite good enough and you have to accept it sometimes.”

Pike’s record breaking season included Group 1 wins over the Ascot carnival last year.

He rated those successes as the best of his 2018-19 season winners.

“The Group ones over the Saturday carnivals, the Railway and the Kingston Town, I was able to have success there,” Pike said.

“Definitely the highlight was getting those group ones.”

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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The Pearce stable will saddle two runners at Belmont on Saturday and they expect both horses, after contrasting last-starts, to produce rebounding performances.

Don’t Fuss ran a cracking third behind Danny George two weeks ago and could have finished much closer or better after he slipped at the start and lost two lengths.

Father Knick will look to atone after he was no match for Spirit And Fire, finishing a disappointing eighth after running a bolter first-up when second to Festival Miss.

Don’t Fuss has been a pleasant surprise packet for brothers Dan and Ben Pearce, reeling off a string of consistent races since commencing his campaign in February.

In ten appearances at Ascot and Belmont the son of Scandal Keeper has been successful on two occasions and ran placings seven times.

Two starts back he ran second to boom four-year-old Battle Storm, who is unbeaten from five career starts and a red-hot favourite to make it six on Saturday.

The only time Don’t Fuss has found himself outside of a top three berth was in May when he finished two lengths fourth to Special Reward.

Dan Pearce is confident Don’t Fuss will be a major player in the Glenroy Chaff Handicap (1000m).

“He is in really good form,” Pearce said on Tabradio.

“He was unlucky last start, he slipped coming out of the gates and missed the start by a bit.

“He got up on the fence well and was unlucky not to have won.

“He has come through the run really well and we are pretty confident with him going into the race.”

Don’t Fuss ($3.40) holds second favoritism behind Night Voyage ($3.10).

Jarrad Noske reclaims the ride from Tasmanian apprentice, Chris Graham.

After drawing an inside gate last-start, Don’t Fuss will commence from barrier six.

Pearce said rider and barrier will help Don’t Fuss.

“He seems to be the sort of horse that when you get him out into the race he goes his best,” Pearce said.

“The way Jarrad rides suits the horse as well, he can throw a horse into a race and give it every chance.”

Father Knick has drawn barrier nine in the Amelia Park Handicap (1200m).

With Jade McNaught’s claim he carries 58kg.

Pearce is looking for a level of improvement.

“It was a bit of a strange run last-start,” Pearce said.

“Coming to the corner we thought it was in a good position.

“We were a little disappointed with the run.

“Hopefully we have a bit more luck tomorrow (Saturday).

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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All the signs point to co-trainers Grant and Alana Williams capping another successful feature race year in style at Belmont on Saturday.

The husband and wife team have won 20 major races in the 2018-19 season and are hungry for one more in the Listed Belmont Classic (2200m).

And with the raging hot favourite Mystery Miss and capable second-stringer, Delta Belle, they would have to rate their chances very highly.

Mystery Miss already has the runs on the board after victories in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) and Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).

Against a small field of just five rivals and with the assistance of jockey William Pike, Mystery Miss looks to have a third straight win at her mercy.

“It looks a nice race for her and we just hope for no bad luck,” Grant Williams told Tabradio.

“Hopefully we can cap a good year.”

Williams said Delta Belle warranted an opportunity at black-type level after she bolted in to win a Pinjarra maiden (2000m) by three lengths on July 11.

“She is a big strong filly, but still does a few things wrong,” Williams said.

“Last start was very good how she did it with ease.

“It probably booked a place in this to see if we could get black type.”

Mystery Miss and Delta Belle, who will be ridden by Chris Parnham, hold star power for the Williams stable, but the support cast cannot be dismissed.

Cryptic Wonder can set the tone in the opening race: a 1300m event for two-year-olds.

The son of My Admiration returns for his second career start after a smart win on debut over 1200m a fortnight ago.

Drawn in barrier four for Pike, Williams believes he will be hard to beat again.

“The race looks stronger than what he faced first-up, but we were very happy with his performance,” Williams said.

“The distance is going to suit better and I’m looking forward to him.”

Despite partnering Sugar Cain in successive Belmont wins, Pike has given punters a lead by opting to stick with Zaratite in the Quayclean Handicap (2000m).

Pike’s booking and Zaratite’s last-start win at Pinjarra, where he welcomed a step-up to 2000m, has him holding market sway over his stable mate.

Zaratite drops 3.5kg to 55kg for Pike and will jump from barrier one. Sugar Cain has drawn gate seven and carries 52kg for apprentice, Jade McNaught.

According to Williams, Sugar Cain can upset her more fancied stable mate.

“Winning form is good form and she  definitely has to be a chance.” Williams said.

“It’s her hardest test to date, but the weight relief is a definite advantage for her.

“Her last two starts have been very good and her last run career-best.

“Whether she can knock over Willie and Zaratite will be up to Jade.”

Zaratite ($2.10) and Sugar Cain ($4.60) sit one-two in TAB betting.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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Leading Perth owner Bob Peters’ hopes in The Everest was given a major boost after Enticing Star secured a slot in the $14 million sprint today.

Peters is set to play a major hand in the rich sprint, to be run at Randwick later this year, with Enticing Star to join her gun mare Arcadia Queen.

Enticing Star, a winner of eight races from her 10 starts, was nominated by champion trainer Chris Waller to fill his stable’s slot in the 12-horse race.

Enticing Star, who has won eight of 10 starts and Arcadia Queen, a Group 1 winner of the Kingston Town Classic (1800m), joined Waller’s stable earlier this year.

Peters, who holds a very high opinion of Enticing Star, said he was thrilled the Testa Rossa mare had been able to secure her slot in The Everest.

“We sent her over to Sydney with the intention of securing a start in the race because we firmly believe that she will be very competitive in a race of that standing,” Peters said.

“We are thrilled to have Enticing Star join Arcadia Queen as our two runners in this year’s Everest.”

Waller said he was excited to have finalised a deal that will see Enticing Star represent his stable in the October 19 feature.

“The Everest continues to engage racing fans across Australia and the globe,” Waller said on his web site.

“The event has driven a new audience to our sport and its relevance to a new generation of race goers has been evidenced by the volume of attendance and attention since its inception.

“Enticing Star has quickly progressed through the ranks and her race record shows she is simply a winner.”

The Everest has four spots remaining with Enticing Star’s confirmation.

Julio Santarelli
www,rwwa.com.au

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“The only sure thing about luck is it will change.”-Walter Minzer.

Martin Allan might not be familiar with the work of the American playwright, but he is hoping he is correct.

Because if there is one trainer who could mount an argument that he deserves a change in luck it could be Allan.

Since Sir Mambo won at Pinjarra last month, the Ascot-based horseman has gone 12 starts for six second placings.

But Allan is optimistic he can rebound and has two-or at worse one victory within reach at Belmont on Saturday.

His hopes rest with Night Voyage in the Glenroy Chaff Handicap (1000m) and Neurological in the Crown Perth Handicap (1400m).

Neurological came of age last campaign when he won six races.  His winning haul took in the Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m) and Batavia Sprint (1300m) at Albany and Geraldton respectively.

The Gingerbread Man four-year-old was unlucky not to have finished closer to Stageman when first-up three weeks ago. He got held up at a vital stage before finishing strongly for sixth over 1200m.

The gelding, drawn to get the run of the race from barrier three for headline jockey, William Pike, is the $2.10 TAB favourite, firming from his opening quote of $2.50.

Allan is upbeat that Neurological is in for a successful campaign as he builds up to having a shot at Kalgoorlie’s feature sprint race in October.

Although beaten, he was pleased with Neurological’s first up performance.

“He got held up” Allan told The Races WA.

“He had 59.5kg and then to pick back up again I was pretty happy.

“I think he has matured a little bit and looking for 1400m now.

“He has definitely come back, that’s for sure.

“He’ll have this run and a little bit of a freshen-up.

“We are looking at getting in the Hannans Handicap and he will be a serious contender in that.”

Allan has turned to Pike and rejected a claim in a bid to end Night Voyage’s exasperating run of outs.

First-up up from a spell two weeks ago, the bay gelding ran his sixth consecutive placing when beaten a half-head by Danny George.

Pike rides Night Voyage at 60kg and starts from barrier five.

“You would love a horse like him, he is sound,” Allan said.

“He carries weight well and I thought let’s put Pikey on.

“Pikey seems to win in a photo finish and I think he will be in our favour.

‘”I think he is a genuine chance.”

Night Voyage ($3.40) holds narrow TAB favoritism over Don’t Fuss ($3.50).

Danny George and Pretentious Chant are at $6.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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PING ME ANOTHER

Ping Me Another will be transferred to Trent Bussitin and Natalie Young in Melbourne.

Previous trainer, Chris Willis, who retains a 30 per cent share in the filly, said it was an offer too good to refuse.

The daughter of Musket only won once from 11 starts, a dead-heat in May, but ran a series of top races last summer.

Ping Me Another finished second in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) and third in the Group 3 WA Derby (2400m), beaten by narrow margins.

She also finished runner-up in the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) and fourth in the Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m).

Her fighting abilities and on-pace pattern of racing made her a favourite with many punters.

MALAGUERRA

Malaguerra owner, Bruno Micalizzi, said he was delighted by the physical transformation of the rising eight-year-old since teaming up with new trainer, Lindsey Smith.

Malaguerra showed he was on target to commence his campaign under Smith’s guidance with a solid second in a 950 trial, working to the line strongly behind Rebel King.

The son of Magnus flies out of Perth on Wednesday to join Smith’s satellite stable at Warrnambool. A preparation in Adelaide or the Aurie Star at Flemington in August are considered likely targets first-up.

Malaguerra, a dual Group 1 winner, last raced in April when unplaced in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick.

TRAMONTANE

Darren McAuliffe is excited by the imminent return of Tramontane after a sparkling trial win.

The son of Universal Ruler, unplaced at his only start last year, bolted in by ten lengths.

McAuliffe said Tramontane is a big gangling horse with a gentle disposition, but had been struck by a series of minor injury issues.

The top trainer has a big opinion of the three-year-old and believes he is one of the most exciting horses in his stables.

FRED DAG

Bruce Watkins is considering backing up Fred Dag in a 1400m race on Saturday or hold him back for a mile event in two weeks.

Fred Dag punched home his first win this preparation, albeit narrowly, over Distant Trilogy by a nose at Belmont last Saturday.

Bruce Watkins considers Fred Dag an Ascot carnival horse, but says the Patronize gelding needs to take the next step.

“He is a relaxed, lazy horse,” Watkins told The Races WA.

“He gets to the front and then switches off.

“I would love to see him attack and run through the line strongly.

“It might come with maturity.

“But he will need to do it if he is going to come up against the better horses later on.”

OLIVER’S TRAVELS

Simon Miller is optimistic Oliver’s Travels ran reignite his career after running another impressive trial on Monday.

The Saxon five-year was winding up strongly when three lengths third to Rebel King over 950m.

Oliver’s Travel’s couldn’t get warm last preparation when unplaced in five starts including four feature races.

At his previous campaign he failed to miss a top three finish, winning six races and placing on five occasions from 11 outings.

“He is showing the same signs as that preparation at home,” Miller said.

“All the signs point to him being back to that form.

“His two trials back have been good.

“If he runs well he will target the Hannans.”

The Hannans, Kalgoorlie’s major sprint race, run over 1400m, is staged on October 2.

ILLUSTRIOUS TYCOON

Conversely, Trevor Andrews is hoping Illustrious Tycoon can show a level of improvement when he returns in a 1000m race at Belmont on Saturday.

The son of Written Tycoon has not raced since undergoing corrective surgery for Epiglottis after suffering his sole loss last year.

A winner in three of four starts, Illustrious Tycoon finished a distant sixth to Rebel King in his 950m trial on Monday.

“It was a hot trial, but I thought it was only fair,” Andrews said.

“I’m hoping he can improve on Saturday.

“He will go around in 70 plus over 1000m.”

MALIBU STYLE

Neville Parnham said Malibu Style had come through his last run in good order.

Backing up after his victory in the Victorian Sprint Series final (1200m) at Flemington, the Magnus gelding ran fourth to Oak Door in the Group 3 Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.

Parnham said Malibu Style would be freshened before tackling the Aurie Star at Flemington in August.

MITCH PATEMAN

Mitchell Pateman is another step closer to getting back in the saddle after receiving a medical clearance.

Pateman has not raced since fracturing his back in a fall on Assetro in the WA Oaks (2400m) last March.

Pateman, who is eyeing off a return to competetive riding in two weeks, has been cleared to ride in trials and track work.

LINDSEY SMITH

Lindsey Smith’s dynamic start to his Victorian stint continued at Ballarat today (Tuesday).

Fresh from two Belmont winners on Saturday, the top horseman was on the mark again with a running double

Two-year-olds, Olympic Oath and Saone, both raging favourites, opened up their winning accounts in style.

Since setting up at satellite stable in Warranbool, Smith has claimed five wins and three placings from his nine runners

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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Top trainer Adam Durrant is considering an east coast campaign for Saturday’s upset Swan River Vase (2200m) winner, Come Play With Me.

Durrant said he is exploring his options, but a stint with Chris Waller in Sydney looms as a distinct possibility for the four-year-old.

“At this moment because he is going so well I’m leaning towards maybe Sydney,” Durrant told Tabradio.

“I’ve had a chat with Julian from Chris Waller’s stable and they are mapping out a couple of programs that will suit him for the next two months.

“We aren’t going to be too ambitious with him, not the Group ones, the lower tier staying races.

“You can always go up if it turns out you are good enough.

“As we have seen recently plenty of the Perth stayers have gone over there and run really well.

“I certainly don’t have time to go over there with our carnival pending and the horses I have in work.

“I’m not interested to go over there to be honest.

“It’s going to be left up to them whether the program is good and what is going to be available.

“We will give him a week in the paddock, let the dust settle and make a decision late next week.”

Come Play With Me extended his winning sequence to four in the Swan River Vase and proved too strong for raging favourite Gatting.

Giving apprentice Brodie Kirby the middle leg of a treble, the Blackfriars gelding posted a comfortable 2 ½ length win.

Durrant said defeating a horse of Gatting’s profile, was career-defining for Come Play With Me.

“It was probably one of his best wins from my point of view,” Durrant said.

“To beat a horse with Gatting’s potential and on his merits.

“I’ve always rated him a pretty good stayer.

“He has always been better than average.

“He has good stamina and the attributes of a good stayer.

“He is trouble-free and a kind bugger around the stables.

“He wants to please you.”

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au 

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Owner Bruno Micalizzi is delighted with the physical condition of Malaguerra after the Magnus gelding completing a solid trial performance at Lark Hill on Monday.

Stepping out for his first official hit out under new trainer, Lindsey Smith, Malaguerra, worked to the line strongly when second to Rebel King in a 950m heat.

A dual Group 1 champion in the BTC Cup (1200m) and Darley Classic (1200m), Malaguerra has won 12 races from 34 starts for prize money of almost $2 million.

Previously with Peter Gelagotis in Melbourne, Malaguerra transferred to Smith after an 11th placing in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last April.

“The work this morning proved and was an example of the Lindsey Smith touch,” Micalizzi told The Races WA.

“He came through the trial well and hit the line nicely and there is a bit to work with.

“He has got a nice rounded shape that I hadn’t seen previously.

“That’s why I brought him to Lindsey. I had heard about it and now I have seen it.

“He definitely has that Lindsey Smith touch and has enjoyed his stay here.”

Micalizzi, a former cray fisherman before turning to horse ownership, said Malaguerra would be heading back across the Nullarbor to target an eastern states campaign.

“There are a couple there, one in Adelaide and maybe one in Melbourne at the moment,” Micalizzi said.

“We will see how he comes through this (trial) and he will have another trial in Melbourne, but he goes to Melbourne on Wednesday.

“It’s step by step because he is a rising eight-year-old.

“He hasn’t be taxed, but has had a few niggles along the way.

“But there is still a lot of horse there I believe.

“I feel he has a bit more to give.”

Bruno Micalizzi owns Malaguerra who finished second in a #LarkHill trial this morning – he outlines the plans for @LSmithRacing galloper… #TheRacesWA pic.twitter.com/Sb3scVXmMG

— The Races WA (@theracesWA) July 15, 2019

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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Iron filly Mia Dolce has given young trainer Jayce Buckley his first win as a trainer, taking out the Glory Glory Plate (1000m) at Belmont.

It was just the second time the two-year-old has started for Buckley, having done her previous racing with Frank Pangallo and George Davies.

Buckley, a former jockey in WA and Queensland, spent time breaking in horses at Ascot and said it was there he started to seriously consider taking out his trainer’s licence.

“I finished up in Queensland and I had a bit of an injury,” he told The Races WA

“I decided to come back home and the family is over here.

“I was breaking horses in at Ascot and I had a friend who was a bit unlucky with a couple of horses.

“I said ‘why don’t we go and buy a yearling and we will go halves’.

“While I was waiting for the licence, I had my mate George Davies have her in his care.

“That helped kick the process of the trainers licence.

“It’s a job where you wake up and you can’t wait to get to work.”

Mia Dolce produced, arguably, her best performance this afternoon, jumping straight to the front for jockey Brodie Kirby.

Fancied runners Laverrod and Hoodoo Lads were handy to the speed in the early stages as well, but Mia Dolce was able to hold the lead.

The Patronize filly kicked well clear in the home straight and, despite tiring late, held on to score by a short neck.

It took her record to a formidable record of five wins and four placings from 13 starts.

Buckley said he admired how tough the filly was.

“She’s been an absolute ripper,” he said.

“She was a cheap purchase at the last winter sale and she’s only had one spell since that winter sale.

“She’s a very versatile little filly and I reckon she will grow up to be a very good three and four-year-old.”

He added the filly would likely target three-year-old feature races over the upcoming Ascot spring and summer period.

Jayce Buckley - First Win As A Trainer - YouTube

Meanwhile, Kirby tightened his grip on the season’s leading apprentice award when he took out the Swan River Vase (2200m) aboard Come Play With Me.

Gatting went in as a $1.20 favourite for the $100,000 event, but was never a threat to the Adam Durrant-trained gelding in the home straight.

It was a well-deserved win for Come Play With Me, who was having his 11th start this campaign, which started on Australia Day.

Durrant said the four-year-old could be aimed at Country Cup races in Victoria prior to the Perth carnival.

Tim Walker

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