She left her run late, but Galaxy Star has returned to the winners list in this afternoon’s Group 3 Belmont Sprint  (1400m) at winter headquarters.

The six-year-old, second-up today, had plenty of ground to make up in the last 200m and was staring down the barrel of a shock defeat.

However, jockey William Pike lifted the Railway Stakes winner to victory in the very last stride.

There was a spirited battle for the lead in the early stages, with Great Shot eventually able to cross Roma Cup winner Vital Silver, while Galaxy Star settled with just one runner behind her.

2017 Railway Stakes Great Shot looked home inside the final 100m, only to be beaten a neck.

Vital Silver finished third, while Mizlecki finished fourth.

The win leaves the door wide open for Galaxy Star to repeat the deed of Material Man last winter, who took out the Belmont Sprint, Hyperion Stakes and Strickland Stakes treble.

For owners Bob and Sandra Peters and trainers Grant and Alana Williams it was their first success in the race since Shining Knight won in 2015.

It was Pike’s first win in the race since Elite Belle in 2014.

Pike said he was proud of the mare and never gave up hope.

“She’s definitely special,” he said.

“I’m so lucky she’s so good, she gets you out of so many sticky situations.

“I was telling myself ‘just stay in it, she will keep coming’.

“She will definitely be better over further.”

Bob Peters described the performance as a “very good run” and also indicated the mare would be better suited in the next two starts.

Galaxy Star was the highlight of a good day for Pike, who also scored wins aboard Military Ruler, Leading Girl and State Attorney.

Military Ruler ended a frustrating run of 1071 days between wins for trainer Darren McAuliffe, who said the gelding was retired on multiple occasions.

Leading Girl’s win will likely see her join the likes of Flirtini and The Velvet King in the Belmont Guineas.

Tim Walker