A dream Perth debut for former Sydney galloper Molten was hit out of the park by She’s Vital at Ascot on Wednesday.
Sent out the $2.10 favourite, Molten was cut down late by She’s Vital in the Gerard Lightning Handicap (1000m).
A new recruit for trainer Chris Gangemi, Molten won three races from 10 starts for previous trainers Peter and Paul Snowden in Sydney.
And the Street Cry gelding was a popular pick with local punters, who were keen to get involved after he won a trial, ironically over She’s Vital, at Belmont on November 29.
After finding the front soon after the start for Shaun McGruddy, Molten looked the winner at the 100m, but he couldn’t withstand the finishing burst of the winner.
With a 5kg weight advantage, She’s Vital charged home strongly from near last in the seven-horse line-up and won by a long-neck. Magic Planet filled third placing.
Staring at juicy odds of $18.70 and $6.20 on tote for trainer Fenella Martin, She’s Vital was racing first-up since finishing second-last at Kalgoorlie in July.
Martin said She’s Vital’s win came as a pleasant, but welcome surprise.
“I’m very happy with her,” Martin said.
“She usually needs a run and I thought she was a run off.
“She has got a lot bigger and has more strength to her.”
She’s Vital, ridden by Jerry Noske, took her record to three wins from 16 starts.
The daughter of Vital Equine gave Noske her first city win since June.
The top rider said she was a little nervous when She’s Vital got back in running.
“I thought I was in trouble,” Noske said.
“I didn’t think she was travelling that good.
“But she produced the goods.”