A Star Is Back

6
Oct

Unbeaten mare Enticing Star has taken out the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) in a strong return to racing at Belmont Park.

The Adam Durrant-trained mare was sent out a $1.24 TABtouch favourite and won accordingly, with a Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) campaign still on the radar.

Enticing Star had to settle at the rear of the field for jockey William Pike, as Group 1 winner Great Shot set a steady tempo in front.

Great Shot kicked clear at the top of the straight, but Enticing Star was quickly able to haul in her rivals and score a three-quarter length win.

Peters said it was a risk running Enticing Star in a Listed race, given she was still eligible to run in lower rating races.

“It’s obvious this was a massive step,” he said.

“We could’ve just kept her in the ratings races, but we took the gamble to bring her through.

“This was going to tell us.”

Peters said he was unsure as to where Enticing Star would head following her Birthday Stakes win and indicated it was unlikely she would line up in the Crawford Stakes at Ascot on October 20.

Earlier in the day, the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Leading Girl maintained her unbeaten start to her career, upstaging an unlucky favourite Pagans Image in the David Grays Aglink Plate (1400m).

Pike settled Leading Girl midfield in the run and was able to finish over the top of her rivals.

Pike and Peters teamed back up with Durrant with Arcadia Prince in the TABtouch-Better Your Bet Handicap (1400m).

The four-year-old was shuffled back to last during the run, but in similar fashion to Leading Girl, he was too powerful for his rivals in the closing stages.

Pike, Peters and Durrant completed the quartet of winners with Bold Success in the Devil’s Lair Handicap (1300m).

Meanwhile, Slater filly Amarillo Rose has caused a boilover in the Initial Plate (1000m), the opening two-year-old race of the season.

Jockey Brodie Kirby used barrier two to his advantage to get to the lead and the filly was able to hold off a fast finishing Miss West Coast from the back of the field.

Trainer Dion Luciani said he had confidence the filly would be able to measure up despite the big price.

“I was confident she was capable of it,” he said.

“There was a lot to like about her going into it.

“These two-year-old races are a raffle.

“She’ll go straight to the paddock and hopefully she will be better next time around.”

Tim Walker