Comeback king Jim Byrne is confident he can...
Stephen Miller’s in-form gelding Variation enjoyed an upset win at juicy odds over the beaten favourite Ellicazoom in Saturday’s WA Guineas 2016 at Ascot Racecourse.
The key support act on the Railway Stakes Day card on the opening Group 1 race meeting of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, this year’s $500,000 Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) was won by $19 roughie Variation.
Melbourne-based Damian Lane, born in Bunbury, rode the son of War Chant in the mile feature replacing Brad Parnham who was aboard Variation for all his lead-up runs including a win at the track / distance on Melbourne Cup Day in non-Black Type company.
Variation ($19) impressed and handled the step-up in class over the weekend posting a half-length victory over Neville Parnham’s class filly Ellicazoom ($4), who came off a second in the WA Champion Fillies Classic the weekend prior, after hitting the front in the final 100m of the set weights clash.
Finishing off the WA Guineas trifecta over two lengths off the upset winner in third was another outsider in betting, the David Harrison-trained Ragazzo D’Oro ($26) who improved off his last start fifth in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m).
It was an impressive late effort from the third placegetter and his hoop Patrick Carbery who improved from ninth on the turn for home in the Group 2 to edge out Douglas Whyte’s mount Final Salute ($41) for third.
Former jockey-turned-Lark Hill trainer Miller was thrilled with the WA Guineas results and admitted post-win he wasn’t 100% confident Variation would handle the rise in class.
“To win this race is incredible and he’s had the ideal preparation,” he told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“I thought his last win was very good and everything went according to plan.
“I didn’t know if he was up to the class, but we had to have a crack.
“He has a fair amount of ability and we have placed him right.
“I couldn’t win this race as a jockey, but I finally won it as a trainer.
“To repay a group of owners who have been with me for 35 years is tremendous.”
Lane, who missed out on his chance in the Group 1 Railway Stakes after his mount Rageese was scratched due to a foot abscess, was impressed with the late speed and determination of Variation in the Guineas.
“I went up a few backsides in the straight, but lucky enough I had the horse underneath me and when he went back to the inside, he sprinted really well,” Lane said.
The $1 million Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) back at Ascot on December 3 is a possible next-up option for Variation.
Last year’s WA Guineas winner Man Booker (2015) backed-up in the weight-for-age classic finishing sixth to Perfect Reflection.
After her third as the beaten favourite in Saturday’s Railway Stakes, Perfect Reflection currently pays $4.40 to defend her Kingston Town Classic title.
She heads the all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au followed by the Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice ($6).
To back your favourites across the summer in W.A. at the right price make sure you’ve got an account open and ready to go at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Enhanced Odds (selected races / T&Cs apply).
2016 WA Guineas Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 7 – 19/11/2016
|1||14||SCALES OF JUSTICE||Lindsey Smith||Douglas Whyte||–||8||53kg||$9|
|2||5||GOOD PROJECT||Chris Waller||J H Bowman||2.75L||7||55kg||$9|
|3||6||PERFECT REFLECTION||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||3L||2||54.5kg||$4.60|
|4||7||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||3.75L||13||54kg||$5|
|5||16||TRADESMAN||Robert & Todd Harvey||Troy Turner||4L||6||53kg||$6|
|6||1||KAWI (NZ)||Allan Sharrock||Michael Walker||4.25L||3||58.5kg||$21|
|7||11||HEART STARTER||Grant & Alana Williams||Chris Parnham||4.25L||1||53kg||$13|
|8||8||LITE’N IN MY VEINS||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||5.25L||9||53.5kg||$7.50|
|9||4||HE OR SHE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||5.5L||12||55.5kg||$12|
|10||17e||ZARANTZ||Simon A Miller||Brad Parnham||6.75L||5||53kg||$61|
|11||2||DISPOSITION||Grant & Alana Williams||Glenn Smith||7L||16||56kg||$20|
|12||13||NEVERLAND||Grant & Alana Williams||Peter Hall||8.25L||10||53kg||$51|
|13||10||BALMONT GIRL||Paula Wagg||Shaun O’Donnell||10L||11||53kg||$101|
|14||15||TICK TICK BLOOM||G Durrant & J Miller||Jason Brown||11.25L||4||53kg||$91|
|15||3||PORNICHET (FR)||Daniel Morton||Jarrad Noske||11.75L||15||56kg||$101|
|16||12||IDEAL IMAGE||G Durrant & J Miller||Joseph Azzopardi||14.5L||14||53kg||$41|
|–||19e||SHOWY CHLOE||Jason Pateman||Patrick Carbery||–||12||–||–|
|–||18e||GREAT SHOT||Rhys Radford||Craig Staples||–||14||–||–|
|–||9||RAGEESE||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||–||11||–||–|
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