Let’s Galahvant’s breakout campaign reached its peak when he scored a thrilling win for co-trainers Ben and Dan Pearce in the Listed Hannans Handicap (1400m) at Kalgoorlie this afternoon.
Claiming a maiden stakes victory at his first attempt, the improving four-year-old, now a winner of eight of his 15 starts and the past three in succession, continued a rapid rise through the grades.
Starting a $6 chance in an open betting race, Let’s Galahvant exacted revenge for the in-form Pearce stable after Dig Deep ran a luckless second to Startthefriar in last year’s Hannans.
Delivering jockey Natasha Faithfull her biggest scalp in racing, Let’s Galahvant defeated an unlucky Titan Blinders by a short-head with another half-head separating third place getter Excellent Dream.
Sitting outside the leader, Let’s Galahvant overhauled Excellent Dream close to the post before holding out former Melbourne galloper Titan Blinders in an exciting finish.
Titan Blinders, prepared by Chris and Michael Gangemi, couldn’t gain a clear run over the final 200m and raced tight in the last 50m when jockey Shaun O’Donnell took an inside run.
Excellent Dream held on after attempting to lead all the way, just ahead of $5.50 favourite Startrade.
Staralign produced a gutsy fifth after racing wide throughout.
Dan Pearce said Let’s Galahvant, who commenced his campaign in a class one event at Pinjarra in May, had improved with each run.
“He’s certainly been a surprise to us, although he’s a horse with his fair share of ability,” Pearce told The Races WA.
“Every time he steps up he goes to another level and we couldn’t be happier.
“I thought he had won on the line, but I didn’t think we had it at the top of the straight.
“But he’s a chaser and obviously has a big heart.
“Although it was the 12th start of his preparation he’s as good as he’s looked all preparation.
“He’s as good as we’ve had him and we were confident he would run a good race.”
Pearce admitted he and his brother, Ben, had considered recruiting an eastern states jockey to ride Let’s Galahvant at 54kg in the Hannans.
However, they turned to Faithfull because of her recent top form and record in Kalgoorlie as well as being deterred by exorbitant airline prices.
“Natasha rides the track and has a great record in Kalgoorlie,” Pearce said.
“We were more than happy to have her on and to be honest when we rang her we were surprised she didn’t have one.”
Pearce said he will let the dust settle on Let’s Galahvant’s career-best result before deciding and planning his next campaign.
“We will get him back and just reassess,” Pearce said.
“He’ll get some points for that and we’ll see how he pulls up.
“Like I said he looks as good as he ever has and we’ll make a decision in the next few days.”