Western Pride has stamped her claims as a major contender for the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) on June 22, after she made it three wins in a row to start her career.
Despite having to sit three-wide for much of the trip and working hard from her wide barrier, Western Pride was able to produce the best of her three performances to date.
The Animal Kingdom filly was left in front at the top of the straight, to jockey William Pike’s concern, but was able to maintain her clear advantage and score by 1 ¾ lengths.
Such was the nature of her win, owner-breeder Bob Peters said he expected Pike to stick with Western Pride for the Belmont Guineas.
Pike said he was worried about hitting the front too early, but added Western Pride was maturing with every start.
“She’s a big striding free roller,” he said.
“Once I got out at the bend, I had them at my mercy.
“It’s just a bit of a worry being in front for the whole straight like that.
“At her first start she got herself worked up and confused.
“Each time she’s done something a little bit better.”
Peters is expected to have at least three runners in the $100,000 event, including True Attraction.
The Grant and Alana Williams-trained True Attraction booked himself a spot in the Guineas thanks to his stylish win in the TABtouch-Better Your Bet Handicap (1400m).
The son of More Than Ready was under pressure in the second half of the field coming to the home turn, but was able to work home strongly along the rail to score by more than a length.
Pike said he was concerned the short-price favourite would struggle to make up the ground in the closing stages.
“He didn’t travel really strong,” he said.
“You end up in spots you don’t really want to be.
“I wanted to work my way to the middle of the track…I had to wait and see what else panned out in front of me.”
Flower Of War and Forgotten Star finished second and third to True Attraction respectively and also look set to head to the Belmont Guineas.
Peters’ other runner in the Guineas looks likely to be Mystery Miss, who finished third to Mrs Brown’s Boy.
Leading Girl was shaping up to be the fourth of Peters’ runners in the Guineas, but is likely to miss 12 months after suffering a tendon injury after her win last Saturday.