It wasn’t easy, but Galaxy Star has potentially ended her career on a winning note, taking out the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont Park this afternoon.
Gatting, who got the better of Galaxy Star last start in the Hyperion Stakes, established what looked to be an unassailable in the concluding stages, only for jockey William Pike to urge the mare to another feature win.
Doubt surrounds the future of Galaxy Star, with owner-breeder Bob Peters contemplating retirement for the Redoute’s Choice mare.
Peters said he maintained confidence Galaxy Star would be able to reel Gatting in.
“She’s always had that last 200m,” he said.
“I thought she was going to get there.”
Peters said Galaxy Star, now a winner at 13 of her 19 starts, would only race on if she went to the east coast for a feature race.
“I think she’s done a great job for us,” he said.
“I made a decision that when she came back in for these races that she’d have to win them and win them well to go on.
“She’s done a good job, but she’s only won two out of the four.
“We’ve always looked after her and given her plenty of time.”
Galaxy Star was the big winner of the Strickland Stakes today, she does look set to head to the breeding barn now, but one horse who could go part of the way to filling the gap in the stable is Nikitas who runs in the final event this afternoon at #BelmontPark…#TheRacesWA pic.twitter.com/JPVJFMsL9Y
— The Races WA (@theracesWA) June 29, 2019
Co-trainer Grant Williams said he wasn’t as confident as Peters in the closing stages and added he it would be a fitting way for the six-year-old to farewell the racetrack.
“It looked like she couldn’t get there,” he told The Races WA.
“It looked like she was ready for the breeding barn and somehow she just finds a way.
“She’s got nothing left to do.
“She’s a Group 1 winner and she’s gone out winning a Group 3.”
Gatting’s jockey Lee Newman was full of praise for the gelding’s effort, who looks set to head to Melbourne for the Cox Plate later this year.
“Another great run,” he told The Races WA.
“There’s no shame in defeat there.
“He just over-raced a little early and it may have cost him at the end.”
Galaxy Star formed part of another super day in the saddle for Pike, who left Belmont with another four winners.
Pike kick started his day when Celtic Court took out the TABtouch-Better Your Bet Handicap (1600m) for trainer Brett Pope.
The leading jockey then booted home the final two winners of the day in Moschard and Stageman.
It was also another big day for Fremantle Dockers forward come trainer Hayden Ballantyne, with Mankind taking out the Ken Dyson 80th Birthday Handicap (1300m).
Unfortunately for Ballantyne he wasn’t at Belmont.
Instead he was at Rushton Park playing WAFL for Peel Thunder, where he collected 17 disposals and a goal in Peel’s 79-point win.