Iron filly Mia Dolce has given young trainer Jayce Buckley his first win as a trainer, taking out the Glory Glory Plate (1000m) at Belmont.
It was just the second time the two-year-old has started for Buckley, having done her previous racing with Frank Pangallo and George Davies.
Buckley, a former jockey in WA and Queensland, spent time breaking in horses at Ascot and said it was there he started to seriously consider taking out his trainer’s licence.
“I finished up in Queensland and I had a bit of an injury,” he told The Races WA
“I decided to come back home and the family is over here.
“I was breaking horses in at Ascot and I had a friend who was a bit unlucky with a couple of horses.
“I said ‘why don’t we go and buy a yearling and we will go halves’.
“While I was waiting for the licence, I had my mate George Davies have her in his care.
“That helped kick the process of the trainers licence.
“It’s a job where you wake up and you can’t wait to get to work.”
Mia Dolce produced, arguably, her best performance this afternoon, jumping straight to the front for jockey Brodie Kirby.
Fancied runners Laverrod and Hoodoo Lads were handy to the speed in the early stages as well, but Mia Dolce was able to hold the lead.
The Patronize filly kicked well clear in the home straight and, despite tiring late, held on to score by a short neck.
It took her record to a formidable record of five wins and four placings from 13 starts.
Buckley said he admired how tough the filly was.
“She’s been an absolute ripper,” he said.
“She was a cheap purchase at the last winter sale and she’s only had one spell since that winter sale.
“She’s a very versatile little filly and I reckon she will grow up to be a very good three and four-year-old.”
He added the filly would likely target three-year-old feature races over the upcoming Ascot spring and summer period.
Meanwhile, Kirby tightened his grip on the season’s leading apprentice award when he took out the Swan River Vase (2200m) aboard Come Play With Me.
Gatting went in as a $1.20 favourite for the $100,000 event, but was never a threat to the Adam Durrant-trained gelding in the home straight.
It was a well-deserved win for Come Play With Me, who was having his 11th start this campaign, which started on Australia Day.
Durrant said the four-year-old could be aimed at Country Cup races in Victoria prior to the Perth carnival.