The partnership of owners Bob and Sandra Peters and trainer Michael Grantham is building a head of steam, combining for their first feature success on the back of talented three-year-old, Devoted, winning a strong edition of the Listed Raconteur Stakes (1400m). The Xtravagant gelding went shin sore after running third to Treasured Star in last year’s WA Guineas (1600m), but has come back for the winter in great shape and is unbeaten in two starts since linking up with his new stable. He will go into next fortnight’s Belmont Guineas (1600m) full of confidence and his mouth-watering clash against Otheroneson should attract a heap more people through the Belmont gates.
Exciting three-year-old Otheroneson had given a snapshot of his ability, but following his breathtaking win from a 35-day freshen up, trainer Dan Morton had no hesitation in declaring him as ‘the real deal’. The son of Demerit looked anything but the winner at the top of the straight with only two behind him, but he finished brilliantly and class prevailed when he won by ¾ of a length from Speed Dream. He is green and raw and still does a lot wrong in his races, but is doing it all on raw ability. Next up is a salivating contest in the Belmont Guineas (1600m).
Otheroneson and Startrade, coming out of hot Geraldton form and bouncing back after a last-start failure in town, continued Dan Morton’s top run, while just for good measure, he had further success in Broome when Warpipes finally broke through after 12 starts. Morton’s city tally now stands at 38 wins, half a win behind third place getter Neville Parnham in the trainer’s premiership and 10 more victories than he secured last season.
Chris Parnham is fast closing in on a century of city winners for the season, just 11 shy of the magical mark after booting home a treble. He started on easing favourite, Prince Turbo, getting it just right in a slowly run opener, had a few concerns on Otheroneson before producing a similar finish from the back of the field aboard Startrade.
It’s probably a bridge to far to close the gap on Chris Parnham in the Perth jockey premiership, but he’s keeping him honest on 74 wins. He got his day rolling when he box-seated on Rumour Says, controlled the race on Savage One after crossing from a wide gate and showed deft skills when the saddle shifted on Devoted.
He’s had a good handle on his babies this season, remembering recent Queensland G2 winner Sheeza Belter started under his care, taking out a Magic Millions feature at Pinjarra before going east. Deep Field filly, Rumour Says, made the best start on debut off one trial when she sprinted past hot favourite Revitup once clear in the straight.
Barber operates a small team; however, she may have some fun coming up with recent acquisition Hibiscus Lady, a six-year-old previously with Ron Quinton in Sydney. The Foxwedge mare covered ground out wide, but she never shirked it and kept driving to the line for a 1 ¼ length second to Go Forward.