Side Battles In Premiership Race


Adam Durrant may well have dealt a fatal blow to Grant and Alana Williams’ hopes in the Perth Trainers’ premiership after stealing a handy break at Belmont on Wednesday.

With just five meetings remaining before the 2017-2018 season draws to a close, Durrant has stolen a decisive five win buffer over last year’s defending title holders.

Staring down at a seventh Perth Trainers’ premiership and his first since taking a year off last season, Durrant advanced to 66 wins after a training treble.

Raise A Smile, who scored by a head, Sense Of Power, who led and True Delight, who held out Habesha, has stacked the odds in Durrant’s favour.

Durrant, who won his first premiership in 2009-10, is just 11 wins shy of breaking his best-ever haul of 77 wins, a benchmark he set in 2013-2014.

He is also closing in on an illustrious group, sitting behind Neville Parnham (13), Bob Burns (10) and Lou Luciani (8) on the all-time Perth trainer’s list.

Durrant has pinched a healthy margin over Grant and Alana Williams, but in a side battle, the leading horseman are deadlocked on 10 feature wins for the season.

Durrant has picked up success in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (Silverstream), Group 3 Northerly Stakes (Silverstream), Group 3 A.J.Scahill Stakes (Silverstream) and the Listed Hannans Handicap (Disposition), Jungle Mist (Celebrity Dream), Carbine Stakes (Zuccheros), Jungle Dawn (Celebrity Dream), Starstruck Classic (Celebrity Dream), Lex Piper (Miracle Man) and Aquanita Stakes (Come Play With Me).

Grant and Alana Williams’ 10 feature victories include the Group 2 WA Guineas (Perfect Jewel) and WA Derby (Action), the Group 3 Colonel Reeves (State Solicitor) and WA Oaks (Special Alert) and the Listed Belgravia Stakes (Perfect Jewel), Burgess Queen (Mikimoto), Detonator Stakes (Falcon Crest), Grandstand Cup (Falcon Crest), Old Comrade (Falcon Crest), Belmont Guineas (State Solicitor)

The Listed Belmont Classic (2200m) at Belmont on July 20 is the final feature race of the 2017-2018 season.

After a rare miss when he failed to ride a winner at Belmont last Saturday, champion hoop William Pike struck back with a riding treble on Wednesday.

Pike is on track to record a 10th Perth Jockeys’ Premiership and his eight in succession.

He currently sits on 120 wins, 15 adrift of a record-best 135 wins, a feat he achieved in the 2015-16 season.

Julio Santarelli