Ben Pearce’s progressive mare Vampi Lass scored an upset over the odds-on favourite Real Charm in a lovely win in Thursday’s La Trice Classic 2015 at Ascot Racecourse.
The major support race in W.A. on the Perth Cup Day program, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 La Trice Classic (1800m) looked to be Adam Durrant’s Reset mare Real Charm’s for the taking.
She came off a string of three straight wins including the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) – Listed Starstruck Classic (1600m) double at the track in December.
Third past the post on the Starstruck Classic when beaten over four lengths was diminutive four-year-old Bletchingly Park mare Vampi Lass.
Based on that run, and her fourth in the Jungle Dawn on December 6, she went out at odds of $18 to Real Charm’s $1.50 price in the La Trice Classic betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
But in a win for the bookies and a loss for the New Year’s Day punters, Vampi Lass and jockey Alan Kennedy were able to turn the tables on the William Pike-ridden Real Charm to win by a half-length.
The Grant Williams-trained Flying Spur six-year-old Dark Delight ($14) then finished a further length away in third to round out the La Trice Classic trifecta this summer.
Winning hoop Kennedy and Vampi Lass jumped away well from the inside barrier one before settling into third throughout the run in the fillies-and-mares’ clash.
Over the final 200m however the eventual winner made her move, winding up to move past the front-runners and take out the trophy – her first in black-type company.
Vampi Lass has now won three of her 22 career starts for $233,252 in prize money and was a deserving stakes winner according to the Lark Hill-based Pearce.
“She has always been consistent in these sort of races, going back to the two-year-old and three-year-old Magic Millions,” he told Perth Racing on Thursday.
“I thought if she gets that bit of luck that’s all she needs.”
Pearce was also surprised after she won so well over the 1800m, a distance she was having her first start over.
“To be honest, I wasn’t convinced she would go the 1800, it’s hard to know, I thought she was a better horse over the shorter trip fresh, but she has proven otherwise today,” he said.
Bigger things could be on the cards for her later this year now if the La Trice Classic form of last year is anything to go by.
Trainer Grant Williams won the race in 2014 with Elite Belle in her final run of the spring – summer season before the mare returned in the autumn for two Group 3 victories at Belmont Park, and then winning the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) – Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) double with a Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) third in between those feature wins.
See below for the full La Trice Classic 2015 results.
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2015 La Trice Classic Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 5 – 01/01/2015
|1||4||VAMPI LASS||Ben Pearce||Alan Kennedy||–||1||56kg||$18|
|2||2||REAL CHARM||Adam Durrant||William Pike||0.5L||6||57.5kg||$1.50|
|3||5||DARK DELIGHT||Grant Williams||Damian Lane||1.5L||3||56kg||$14|
|4||7||RAINDANCE MAGGIE||Adam Durrant||Peter Hall||3L||7||56kg||$26|
|5||3||BEDAMIJO||Tara Itzstein||Shaun Mc Gruddy||3.25L||5||56kg||$15|
|6||6||DABANG||Shane Quilty||Ms Lucy Warwick (a)||3.5L||2||56kg||$5.50|
|7||1||POP CULTURE||Colin Webster||Troy Turner||3.75L||8||58.5kg||$7|
|8||8||FAST FLOWING (NZ)||Daniel Morton||Shaun O’Donnell||6L||4||56kg||$21|