Local trainer Simon Miller was in an enviable position heading into the opening feature race of Railway Stakes Day in Perth saddling up the top two fancies in the Placid Ark Stakes 2014 with Liberty’s Gem ending up on top.
It was a betting battle between the winning Statue Of Liberty gelding and stable mate Fuld’s Bet for this year’s $100,000 Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m), with Miller tipping Liberty’s Gem pre-race as the one to beat.
He predicted the Placid Ark Stakes result right too as the youngster, going out at $2.80 in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets, jumped away better than I Am Invincible filly Fuld’s Bet ($4.20) who was a bit slow away from the gates before settling down into fourth.
“He’s just got so much X-factor,” Miller said after the win.
“This guy oozes class.
“I was just in a good position with two quality horses.”
From barrier one visiting Victorian jockey Ben Melham gave Liberty’s Gem a peach of a ride on the inside and he held on to lead all-the-way and beat a fast-finishing Malibu Style ($11) by a long neck with Fuld’s Bet beaten into third after attacking through the gap 150m from the post.
Having just his third career start here, Liberty’s Gem posted his second career victory and will press on this Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
“The winner, he’s a good horse. He’s a really good horse,” Miller said.
Miller is eyeing a run back at Ascot Racecourse in a fortnight’s time on Kingston Town Classic Day, December 6, in the $150,000 Group 3 Sir Ernest Lee Steere Classic (1400m).
He was also far from disappointed with the third place effort of Fuld’s Bet, the Gimcrack Stakes winner form March coming into the race off a fifth in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) from November 1.
“She didn’t just that good,” he said.
“She was behind but she’s done a good job.”
She didn’t have the speed to go up with her pace setting stable mate and had to tuck in on the back of the speed, Liberty’s Gem getting it easy up front on the speed hard on the fence where the winning rides seem to be coming from today.
There also looks to be plenty of upside to the runner-up Malibu Style from the stables of Neville Parnham.
The Magnus gelding did a great job from the outside gate in his black type debut rocketing home into second over the top of Fuld’s Bet after diving late and narrowly missing out on the trophy.
Miller is likely to keep the blinkers off today’s Placid Ark Stakes winner after his track work rider begged for him to remove them ahead of race, a winning move for Liberty’s Gem.
“That worked well,” he said of the gear change.
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2014 Placid Ark Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 3 – 22/11/2014
|1||6||LIBERTY’S GEM||Simon A Miller||Ben Melham||–||1||57kg||$3|
|2||8||MALIBU STYLE||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||0.3L||10||56kg||$11|
|3||7||FULD’S BET||Simon A Miller||Peter Knuckey||0.5L||2||56kg||$4|
|4||11||DUBREEZE||Sharon Miller||Ben Paterson||1.25L||8||56kg||$31|
|5||10||MISSISSIPPIAN||Ross & Clint Price||William Pike||2L||6||56kg||$14|
|6||1||HOBART JONES||Vernon Brockman||Ryan Hill||2L||7||60kg||$7|
|7||4||HOLD YOUR TONGUE||Dion Luciani||Jason Whiting||2.25L||4||57kg||$11|
|8||5||MAXIMUS MAK (NZ)||Wally Mitchell||Patrick Carbery||3L||5||57kg||$51|
|9||3||PALACE INTRUDER||Trevor Andrews||Damien Oliver||3.5L||3||57kg||$8|
|10||2||DJANGO||Joe Byrne||Paul Harvey||5.75L||9||57kg||$9|
|–||9||MR MOTOWN||Lindsey Smith||Alan Kennedy||–||3||–||–|