The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Grant & Alana Williams’ class mare Perfect Reflection came from well back in the field to score a late nail-biting win for the punters at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes 2016.
Also registered as the C.B. Cox Stakes, the $250,000 Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) looked like it would go down in a massive boilover to the Robyne Martin-trained roughie Fathoms Of Gold who sat in front until the dying seconds of the weight-for-age feature.
A $61 outsider in betting, Fathoms Of Gold was out in front by 15 lengths at one stage as French hoop Matthieu Autier let the Fath six-year-old roll along without restraint.
More Than Ready four-year-old Perfect Reflection and her hoop William Pike meanwhile were in a troublesome position throughout.
The Group 1 winning mare and odds-on Ted Van Heemst Stakes favourite was still 10th at the top of the Ascot straight with plenty of work to do to run down the leader who was eight in front.
Proving her ability over the distance to post her maiden win over further than 1800m however Perfect Reflection never gave up, taking advantage of the tiring front-runner in the final 150m.
Displaying her powerful late finish, Perfect Reflection ($1.80) stormed home and eventually crossed the line three-quarters of a length ahead of Fathoms Of Gold ($61).
Finishing off the Ted Van Heemst Stakes trifecta in third just a quarter-length further back was the Fred Kersley-trained Ihtsahymn ($18).
Perth’s premier hoop was surprised by the win in the end, admitting he thought he and his mare wouldn’t be able to catch the shock leader.
“When we were turning for home and it had such a big margin and wasn’t stopping and everyone was under the pump chasing, I thought ‘oh dear’,” Pike told The West Australian.
“I’m locked away on the fence here and I got very lucky to catch him.
“It was a great ride by Matthieu Autier.
“I probably didn’t think I was going to get there until about five strides before the line.”
Perfect Reflection was the third Bob Peters-owned, Williams-trained and Pike-ridden mare in as many years to take out the race following on from Elite Belle (2014) and Delicacy (2015).
Peters will now reflect on whether to back-up the Ted Van Heems Stakes winner in the $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Eve.
“I’m not sure yet,” Peters said of the step up to a mile-and-a-half in the Perth Cup on December 31.
“She’ll have the same weight as Delicacy and she’s not Delicacy, so we’ll see.”
The bookies are taking no chances with Perfect Reflection and have her installed as the $3 favourite in pre-field Perth Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Kia Ora Koutou ($3.20) is hot on her heels in the futures Perth Cup betting markets after his December 10 win in the Listed JRA Trophy (2200m).
See below for the full Ted Van Heemst Stakes 2016 results then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your favourites for the next Ascot feature – the Perth Cup!
2016 Ted Van Heems Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 7 – 17/12/2016
|1||14||PERFECT REFLECTION||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||–||11||56kg||$1.80|
|2||8||FATHOMS OF GOLD||Robyne Martin||Matthieu Autier||0.75L||10||59kg||$61|
|3||1||IHTSAHYMN||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||1L||5||59kg||$18|
|4||5||ZARANTZ||Simon A Miller||Brad Parnham||1.75L||4||59kg||$14|
|5||7||TRADESMAN||Robert & Todd Harvey||Troy Turner||2.25L||12||59kg||$6|
|6||3||DUBAI ESCAPADE||Justin Warwick||Glenn Smith||3.25L||1||59kg||$26|
|7||6||DARK MUSKET||Graeme Ballantyne||Jarrad Noske||3.75L||8||59kg||$26|
|8||10||NEVERLAND||Grant & Alana Williams||Peter Hall||4.75L||2||57kg||$9.50|
|9||2||RESPONDENT||Fred Kersley||Chris Parnham||5.75L||7||59kg||$16|
|10||12||TICK TICK BLOOM||G Durrant & J Miller||Patrick Carbery||6.25L||3||57kg||$18|
|11||13||SHINTA MANI||Sharon Miller||Jason Whiting||7.25L||9||57kg||$61|
|12||4||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||Neville Parnham||Joseph Azzopardi||9.75L||6||59kg||$51|
|–||9||BEDAMIJO||Tara Itzstein||Shaun O’Donnell||–||14||–||–|
|–||11||I’M FEELING LUCKY||Grant & Alana Williams||Glenn Smith||–||7||–||–|
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