Grant Williams’ odds-on favourite Elite Belle held on to salute for the punters in Perth on the weekend with her quarter length victory in Saturday’s Hyperion Stakes 2014.
The Canny Lad mare made it back-to-back Belmont Park wins backing up from a two length romp in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) to take out this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m).
Handling the step-up to a mile in her third run this prep, the Bob and Sandra Peters-owned five-year-old continued her excellent form holding off Adam Durrant’s Belmont Sprint fifth placed Ranger ($5), also owned by the Peters family, to win as the $1.50 favourite.
Jockey William Pike had the favourite settled third off the pace before hitting the front on the straight and holding off a late challenge by the always honest Ranger who hasn’t won a race since the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) back in November of 2011.
In a close third to finish off the Hyperion Stakes trifecta another quarter length away again was then Fred Kersley’s veteran Scenic eight-year-old Grand Nirvana ($21) who was up on the pace throughout.
Just three quarters of a length separated the first four over the line with Greg Kerlsey’s McFlirt six-year-old When We Were Kings ($18) in fourth.
Disappointment of the race was the Steve Wolfe-trained Kalahaar ($7.50), previously second to Elite Belle in the Belmont Sprint, who was three lengths off the winner in fifth just ahead of the $61 roughie Bridgestone who was last over.
The Elite Belle has now won seven of her 20 starts, and is Group 1 performed having finished sixth to Ihtsahymn in last year’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Another Perth Summer Racing Carnival campaign at Ascot Racecourse is now on the agenda for her later in the year on the strength of her guts Hyperion Stakes victory.
Straight to the paddock after her weekend win, Elite Belle will be bought back for the summer with the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in November her main aim.
“Her Ascot carnival mission will be the Railway Stakes,” Bob Peters told The West Australian.
“She could be switched to a series of mares’ races at the carnival.”
Peters also credited what a great return to form it’s been for Elite Belle who was sidelined for a year back in 2012-13 after injuring herself when 12th to Rohan in the 2012 W.A.T.C. Derby.
“This has been a top campaign by a mare whose career looked in jeopardy when she injured a tendon in the 2012 WATC Derby,” he said.
“She needed more a year off racing to recover.”
As for Ranger, Peters confirmed the luckless runner-up would race again Saturday week on June 28 back at Belmont in the $125,000 Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m).
Whether it’s the upcoming 2014 Strickland Stakes or the Perth Group 1 features later in the year you’re after the odds on, make sure you get the best price by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2014 Hyperion Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Belmont Race 5 – 14/06/2014
|1||7||ELITE BELLE||Grant Williams||William Pike||–||1||57kg||$1.50|
|2||2||RANGER||Adam Durrant||Peter Hall||0.25L||5||59kg||$5|
|3||1||GRAND NIRVANA||Fred Kersley||Chris Parnham (a)||0.5L||3||59kg||$21|
|4||6||WHEN WE WERE KINGS||Greg Kersley||Shaun O’Donnell||0.75L||4||59kg||$18|
|5||5||KALAHAAR||Steve Wolfe||Troy Turner||3L||2||59kg||$7.50|
|6||3||BRIDGESTONE (NZ)||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||3L||6||59kg||$61|
|–||4||SETTLE STRADA||David Harrison||Patrick Carbery||–||7||–||–|