Ben Pearce expects further improvement and believes the best is yet to come from Fear The Wind after the gelding’s winning spree continued at Belmont.
A son 2013 Melbourne Cup champion, Fiorente, Fear The Wind ended his winter campaign on a winning high in the Rogan Josh Stakes (2200m) on Saturday.
In a test of his stamina, Fear The Wind held on determinedly to defeat the fast-finishing Sluice Box with stable mate Queen Alina holding down third place.
Continuing a charge towards his next target, Fear The Wind stretched his winning spree to five and is seven overall from 21 starts with close to $300,000 in earnings.
Pearce, who with his brother and co-trainer, Dan, is experiencing a career-best season, says Fear The Wind is spelling and will be aimed at January’s revamped Perth Cup.
“He’s just had a sensational campaign,” Pearce told Tabradio.
“It’s taken him a little bit of time to get there, but he’s really strung a good prep together.
“He has showed us ability along the way and had a derby prep as a three-year-old.
“He always stood out as a possible stayer of the future.
“He’s off to the paddock now and looking at a Perth Cup campaign.
“Willie (Pike) feels he’ll be an even better horse in a race with more pressure in front and he can sit off them.
“Moving forward as he gets into better races and better tempo his racing pattern could change and he could even improve under those sort of conditions.”
Pearce said Queen Alina will progress to two rating ratings in the next month in what has been a muddled campaign for the mare.
A drop in grade chasing Westspeed bonuses looks a suitable option for the four-year-old.
Meanwhile, Pearce believes Outspoken Lad could follow in the same path as Fear The Wind in 12-months’ time.
A comfortable winner over Flash Ducati and Dad’s Big Headed on Saturday, Pearce says Outspoken Lad is showing good staying ability.
“He’s a nice horse, pretty similar to Fear The Wind with that staying ability,” Pearce said.
“He didn’t handle the firm tracks in summer, they were really firm.
“He’s bounced back to form and shown the ability he’s got.
“He’s a horse that could go on with it this prep and also next winter looking at a similar path to Fear The Wind.”
Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) announced last Tuesday a cash injection for the Perth Cup.
To be run on New Year’s Day at Ascot, prizemoney has been bumped to $1 million.