The in-form combination of co-trainers Dan and Ben Pearce are in a strong position to exert a powerful influence on feature races across two states on the weekend.
Angelic Ruler is a hot fancy to win the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and Vital Silver will be hard to beat in the Listed Pinjarra Classic (1300m) on Sunday.
Vital Silver was impressive when winning two races at Ascot in December and has been freshened since finishing a close second to Wrinkly in the Mandurah Cup (1400m) at Pinjarra five weeks ago.
The progressive five-year-old retains a top firstup record and has drawn perfectly in barrier three.
Champion jockey William Pike, a winner of the Pinjarra Classic twice previously, rides Vital Silver for the time
Regular rider Jarrod Noske is unable to get down to Vital Silver’s allocated 54kg.
“He races best when fresh and that’s why he has had a little let-up,” Ben Pearce told The Races WA.
“This race and the Bunbury Stakes (1400m) have been his targets this preparation.
“He had a good hit out on the grass at Lark Hill last week and is coming along nicely.
“The barrier draw should suit and hopefully he can amble to be near the lead.
“I’m happy with him and he is going well.”
The Armanasco Stakes has attracted a field of 11 starters with Angelic Ruler to jump from gate seven.
Bunbury-born hoop Damian Lane handles responsibilities for her interstate debut.
The quality daughter of Universal Ruler has tasted defeat once in four starts this campaign and comes into the race winning the Listed Rangeview Stud Classic (1400m) at Bunbury on February 2.
“She has settled in real good and handled the flight across with no problems at all,” Pearce said.
“She travelled super.
“She had a jog around and trotted up nice and free.”
Let’s Twist is also in line to give the Listed Detonator Stakes (1800m) at Ascot on Saturday a big shake.
The mare drops 5 ½ kg on her last-start second to Crystal Valley and is drawn to get a soft run from barrier two.
Joe Azzopardi retains the ride.
An interstate treble would cap a notable week on a high for the Pearce brothers.
They were active players at Monday’s Magic Millions Perth yearling sale, purchasing on behalf of stable clients an I Am Invincible colt.
The $260,000 sale topper, from the draft of Darling View Thoroughbreds, is closely related to The River, a winner of the Magic Millions WA 2YO Classic (2016).