Chix Pic has stamped his claims as a serious Ascot carnival contender, taking out the TABtouch Three-Year-Old Classic (1000m) at Bunbury this afternoon.
In a field littered with class, Chix Pic was one of the forgotten runners in betting, closing a $15 chance with TABtouch, with Black Sabbath ($2.35), Lady Cosmology ($2.70) and Valour Road ($7) the fancied runners.
Trainer David Harrison expressed concerns pre-race Chix Pic may end up three-wide from barrier three, but those fears were put to rest early as the gelding was able to settle outside race leader Agent Pippa.
Lady Cosmology and Valour Road settled behind the leading pair, while Black Sabbath settled behind the Karrakatta Plate winner.
Agent Pippa and Chix Pic drew away from their rivals at the top of the home straight to fight out the finish and under the guidance of jockey Joseph Azzopardi, Chix Pic wore down the filly to win by a length.
It was Chix Pic’s second feature race win of his four start career, after he took out the Listed Perth Stakes (1100m) in March, before he was fifth in the Karrakatta Plate.
Black Sabbath made up significant ground to finish second, while Lady Cosmology was third.
Harrison said he felt the horse deserved to be considered as one of the leading three-year-old’s in the state.
“I thought it was super,” he said.
“He’s now won three from four and the only time he got beaten was in the Karrakatta when he was second on the corner and went shin sore.
“He’s come back and taken the extra steps.”
Harrison said Chix Pic will head to the Belgravia Stakes (1200m) in a fortnight, with an eye toward the WA Guineas (1600m) on November 24.
“I think you have got to go that way,” he said.
“He’s such a relaxed horse, I’m sure he will get the mile.
“The further he gets, the more he will travel and the better he should be able to finish it off.”
Meanwhile, jockey Daniel Staeck has made a strong return to riding in Western Australia, taking out the Rod Bynder 10 Year Memorial Handicap (1675m) aboard Salon Du Cheval.
After having just one unplaced ride at Belmont on Wednesday at his first day back at the races, Staeck’s second ride back in the state was one of perfect timing to score on the Lindsey Smith-trained gelding.
Salon Du Cheval was one of the last horses to enter the home straight, but stormed over the top of his rivals in the last 100m.
Staeck, who rode Salon Du Cheval at his first race start in May, said he would like to head back to Victoria after the carnival.
“I got some great experience in Victoria,” he said.
“It’s certainly very different to Perth racing.
“I haven’t set any plans yet, I will take the months as they come.
“I’ll ride here until the New Year.”