After chasing Galaxy Star’s tail for much of last summer, Gatting has finally got one back on his rival in this afternoon’s Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont Park and solidified his Cox Plate claims in doing so.
The Darren McAuliffe-trained Gatting had been beaten three times in Group races by Galaxy Star over the past six months, but there was no denying him in today’s $150,000 event.
Jockey Lee Newman landed in the perfect spot aboard Gatting, settling directly behind race leader Great Shot.
Newman then moved up to the outside Great Shot approaching the turn and hit the lead in the home straight.
Galaxy Star tried hard to make the inroads on Gatting’s lead over the closing stages, but couldn’t find like she did in the Belmont Sprint a fortnight ago and had to settle for second.
It was Gatting’s third success at Group level, having taken out the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 WA Derby previously.
Stable representative Brian McAuliffe said he hoped Gatting could progress to the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.
“He only had to improve a length and a half and he’d be right in it,” he said.
“He seems to be a really good Weight-For-Age carrier, so the Cox (Plate) will suit him down to the ground.
“We will see what happens in a fortnight’s time in the Strickland over 2000 at Weight-For-Age.”
Galaxy Star, a beaten $1.18 TABtouch favourite, had every chance, according to jockey William Pike.
“Everyone probably thought it was a one horse race, but they forget it’s a pretty good field,” he told The Races WA.
“He was too good today.”
Elsewhere, Lordhelpmerun recorded his first victory since last year’s Group 3 WA Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), taking out the Ilario Spagnolo 50th Birthday Handicap (1400m).
The three-year-old was unplaced first-up, before an improved showing in third place second-up.
Jockey Brodie Kirby had the gelding well poised coming to the home turn and was then able to fight off a game Moschard.
Trainer Steve Wolfe said it had been a frustrating year since Lordhelpmerun’s Sires Produce Stakes win, but felt too much went wrong for the galloper to win the feature races he went in.
“I’m sure he will go on and be a very nice horse now,” he said.
“You expect the best and they’ve got to have everything going right when you’re shooting for the stars.
“You can’t have any little chinks going wrong.
“The further he goes, the better he will go.”
Meanwhile, jockey Paul Harvey recorded his first city winner since returning from an extended injury layoff.
Harvey guided the Tom Widdeson-trained Distant Trilogy to victory in the Crown Perth Handicap (1200m).