The market had it as a race in two and got it right with Proceedwithcaution scoring a narrow win over Star Of Husson in the Listed Belmont Classic (2200m) at Belmont on Saturday.
Proceedwithcaution shaded Star Of Husson for favouritism and after hitting the front inside the final 150m, he held out the fast-finishing mare to win by a neck.
Ben Kennedy went forward on Proceedwithcaution and pounced when a gap appeared while Star Of Husson was anchored to last by William Pike after an awkward start.
I’m Feeling Lucky ran on well but just peaked on her run to finish third; the exact placing she filled in last Saturday week’s Belmont Oaks (2000m).
Proceedwithcaution, who completed back-to-back wins after the Dayana Plate (2000m) on June 5, could have run his last race in WA.
“He is likely to be sold to Hong Kong and I’m surprised he wasn’t before yesterday,” said trainer, Darren McAuliffe.
“It’s up to Geoff (Van De Molen) and Nikita (Richards) who race the horse and they deserve every opportunity.
“It’s still up in the air but he may have run his last race here.”
Jim Taylor closed out the meeting with a running double when consistent but underrated gelding New Time and stable newcomer Dream Lifter posted respective wins.
New Time who has won eight from 51 and been placed on 17 occasions, boosted prize money beyond $300,000.
“He is not bad for a horse who I thought was a mid-week horse,” said Taylor.
“He has done a good job.”
Dream Lifter, formerly with Paul Hunter in the Great Southern, raced forward for Mitch Pateman and scored by one length from Rusty Peaches.
“I don’t like taking other horses but when Paul (Hunter) rang me and asked if I could take him I was happy to get a good fit horse,” said Taylor.
“Paul sent him to me in terrific order and he only took a day or two to settle in.
“You would have thought he was there all his life.”
The Danehill Express gelding gave Pateman the second leg of a double after his earlier win on Come Flirt With Me.
The McFlirt six-year-old was trapped wide throughout but kept coming and overpowered his rivals to win by just under a length.
Come Flirt With Me spent two years on the injury list with a tendon injury and post his first win since resuming earlier in April.
His return of $31.70 and $7.10 surprised many but not stable representative and former Perth Racing track curator, Geoff Murphy.
“I couldn’t believe he started those odds,” said Murphy.
“He has been a good horse to us.
“We were very confident.”
With only a neck separating the first four runners across the line, Shengmu scored an exciting maiden win in race one.
“I was lucky to get the bob in but she showed a lot of courage as I had given up with 50m remaining,” said trainer, Fred Kersley.
“She fought on very strongly and for her second start I thought she acquitted herself well.”
Lucy Warwick and grey mare Lucciola continued their formidable association when they took advantage of a narrow opening to combine for their seventh consecutive win.
The rising young talent claimed a double when she led on Lenience who withstood pressure from Benito before exploding to a blistering win.
“It might only be a brief campaign,” said trainer, Neville Parnham.
“We will look at the lower echelon races at Ascot.
“He is probably not ready for the quality races.”
War Prince gave apprentice Brayden Gaerth his first Saturday win when he found the front easily from a wide draw.
“He needs to lead and dictate or he can’t win,” said stable representative, Michael Whyte.