Western Austalian Racehorse Trainers Association | WARTA
The Western Australian Racing Trainers' Association is the peak body representing licensed thoroughbred trainers in WA. The WARTA is committed to assisting trainers in each of the Metropolitan, Provincial and Country racing sectors, and to contribute to the overall success of the West Australian racing industry.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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’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