Ben Pearce is delighted that his talented staying prospect Black Fantasy is not far from returning to the race track.
If the Blackfriars gelding can reproduce anything resembling last year’s form, then Pearce and his brother, co-trainer, Dan, are in for exciting times.
Black Fantasy was flying high at Belmont Park last winter, claiming three straight wins and two third placings in a lucrative five race campaign for the Pearce stable.
His winning haul commenced in the Aquanita Stakes (2000m) and continued in the Belmont Classic (2200m) before a six length demolition in a 2100m ratings race.
A $36,000 purchase from the Perth Magic Millions sale, Black Fantasy has accumulated close to half a million dollars in stake earning and bonuses from 14 starts.
Pearce had planned on Black Fantasy resuming in January after two top trials, but a minor injury complaint robbed him of a summer and autumn preparation.
Pearce said Black Fantasy had taken no ill effects from the injury and is a picture of health.
“This time last year he was flying,” Pearce told The Races WA.
“He was due to come back in January after the trials, but just got a knock to his tendon.
“He was impressive last year, but I thought his best win was his last race.
“He romped home to win by six lengths on a heavy track.
“He’ll spend another week on the water walker before coming into work.
“He’ll be set for a Perth Cup campaign (2400m).”
The Pearce camp could be loaded with at least a trio of top Perth Cup contenders.
Fear The Wind is currently in the midst of a four race winning spree while Queen Alina ran a competitive fourth on a heavy track in the Strickland Stakes (2000m).
Meanwhile, Pearce is hoping the stable’s three-year-old momentum can continue at Belmont on Saturday.
The brothers hold a two-pronged attack in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) with Exceltrain and Manavendra.
Exceltrain, a winner two starts back, ran fifth in the Raconteur Stakes (1400m), fading slightly after racing outside the leader.
Manavendra backs up after a distant fifth to classy filly Ihts Closing Inn in a 2000m event on Saturday.
Rating Exceltrain the pick of his runners, Pearce says the gelding will appreciate stepping up to the Belmont Guineas mile.
“He’ll be better suited at the mile and will be ridden a couple of pairs back,” Pearce said.
“He got a little close to them last time.”
A win in the Belmont Guineas would continue a hot 12-months for the Pearce’s and their crop of three-year-olds.
At Kalgoorlie last Sunday, they snared their 25th three-year-old win of the season with Laughing Buddha.