Leading trainer Adam Durrant ended the Ascot season with a bang when he prepared a training treble.
Drawing first blood for Durrant was rejuvenated galloper Peck who triumphed in the main feature: the Diggers’ Cup (1800m).
Fresh from his Albany Cup (2100m) success six days ago and defying a drop back to 1800m and a rise of 1 ½ kilo, the six-year-old wore down Operational by a short-neck.
Ridden by Peter Knuckey, Peck tracked Operational throughout before commencing his winning run from fifth on the corner.
Durrant was full of praise for Peck, a cast-off from the powerful Darley operation, who cost $27,000 at the Magic Millions national racehorse sale on the Gold Coast last June.
The Pivotal gelding raced for trainer Robert Gulberti in Broome last season, running an eye-catching third in the Kimberley Cup (2020m) before a poor eighth in the Broome Cup (2200m).
Only a runner up finish to Be So Ryski in the Narrogin Cup (1900m) has prevented Peck from completing a winning hat trick this campaign.
“He has had his issues but is starting to turn it around,” said Durrant.
“He will hopefully knock over or go close in a 2100m race at Belmont in a fortnight before we set him for the Kalgoorlie Cup.”
Gulberti was back in the spotlight but this time as an owner when Drumnoorum won the Imagesource Display Systems Handicap (1500m).
The Key Business gelding made it back-to-back wins after being given a perfect ride from top apprentice, Ben Paterson.
Paterson denied his main rival and race favourite Mac It Is an outside run before timing his run to perfection.
Durrant indicated Drumnoorum may be looking for 1800m or beyond.
Durrant may have unearthed another promising stayer after Draognlead fought out a tight finish in the Racing At Belmont Park Next Saturday Handicap (1800m).
The son of former champion stayer, Black Tom, showed great fighting spirit after racing wide for the majority of the race.
“It was time to test him and he stood up,” said Durrant.
“I know what he has got and I hope he can produce it for his connections.”
Darren McAuliffe was all smiles and rightly so after the top win of Fuchsia Bandana in the Imagesource Digital Printing Handicap (1200m).
The Trade Fair filly produced a devastating sprint to chase down Super Eighty Eight who pinched a handy break at the top of the straight.
But once jockey Mitchell Pateman checked off heels and got Fuchsia Bandana into clear running room she responded like a good horse.
Fuchsia Bandana is building up a good strike rate with five wins and three placing’s from her nine career outings.
“One she gets up over a mile you are going to see a very nice horse,” said McAuliffe.
Lou and Dion Luciani will put away promising gelding Tonto after the youngster demolished his rivals in the Westspeed Nursery (1600m).
The son of Onemorenomore ends his two-year-old season with a double after trouncing his rivals by a commanding five lengths.